A new tool kit created by the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) is intended to help health care professionals promote better self-diabetes care to their American Indian and Alaska Native patients.
The Living a Balanced Life with Diabetes tool kit features culturally appropriate resources to address the barriers to diabetes self-management that are pervasive in tribal communities.
Self-care of diabetes can prevent or delay the disease’s complications in any population, NDEP said in a press release. But challenges faced by many tribal communities, such as substance use, depression, and the stigma associated with mental health issues, can make good self-care difficult.
The tool kit provides a variety of materials to help people with diabetes address mental health issues, which can enhance their self-care and help them reduce their risk of avoidable diabetes complications. Among the materials:
- Barbara Mora’s using Our Wit and Wisdom to Live Well With Diabetes audio CD and book, which describes her journey with diabetes.
- Indian Health Diabetes Best Practice: Depression Care booklet on how to screen for and treat depression and when to refer patients to mental health specialists.
- Health for Native Life magazine articles covering stressors such as anger and grief.
- Depression screening tools, including a patient health questionnaire and a depression checklist.
- Tip sheets on alcohol and smoking, self-esteem, and healthy food choices.
- Suicide Prevention Hotline magnet with contact information.
- Resource list with information on diabetes control, suicide prevention, nutrition, physical activity, and telephone hotlines.
The NDEP encourages health care professionals who serve American Indians and Alaska Natives to use these materials. Order free tool kits at www.yourdiabetesinfo.org or 1-888-693-NDEP (6337). If you have any questions on how to promote the tool kit, you may contact NDEP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NDEP is jointly sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, with the support of more than 200 partners.