Skip to main content

Coping with Diabetes: a new emotional support tool for young people with type 1

JDRF and Digibete have teamed up to create Coping with Diabetes, a new interactive support tool to help children and young people with type 1 look after their mental health and wellbeing.
JDRF logo placeholder for author profile picture
Kate Gerrard 25 March 2024

Coping with Diabetes, available on the DigiBete app, uses real-life stories, animations and interactive activities to help prevent and reduce diabetes distress and burnout for young people aged 10 – 14.

Supporting young people through diabetes distress

Caring for type 1 diabetes can be tough for young people on top of everything else that life brings.

Up to two-thirds of young people with type 1 experience feeling overwhelmed or frustrated with the condition and this can make it harder to care for. Known as diabetes distress, this can have a direct impact on young people’s mental and physical health.

Coping with Diabetes aims to help children and young people change their relationship with type 1. By completing interactive activities, hearing about the experience of others and learning about type 1, they will build their knowledge, feel comfortable talking about type 1 and improve their self-esteem.

Jaiya, aged 16 and diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged 7, helped develop the tool. She said: “I think it’s really important to have wellbeing resources while having diabetes because diabetes is a condition for life and I think at any point it can get to be too much. I think these diabetes resources will help me because it’s something to refer to and access when I’m struggling to cope with diabetes.”

Combining experience and clinical expertise

Designed to be used as an early intervention psychological tool available within all paediatric clinics, Coping with Diabetes has been developed by young people with type 1 and paediatric clinical psychologists from across the country, marrying lived experience with clinical expertise. To ensure the content is appropriate, accurate and reliable, it has been approved by clinicians working in the field of type 1 and psychology.

JDRF’s Director of Policy and Communications, Hilary Nathan said: “Growing up into the teenage years can be really tough when you are learning how to become independent and confident in managing type 1 diabetes. We know good mental health is crucial for children and young people living with type 1. That’s why JDRF and DigiBete have joined forces to develop this range of interactive information and support, available on the DigiBete App, to support children in the way that they have told us would be most useful, with resources co-designed with young people and paediatric diabetes psychologists.

Maddie Julian, co-founder of DigiBete said: This vital piece of work is founded from a real need articulated by young people who often struggle with the complexities of living with type 1 diabetes. The young people supporting the co-design highlighted all the extra decisions and the burden of constantly educating others and how this can feel relentless and at times isolating. This tool provides very practical emotional support with strategies that are specifically targeted for young people living with diabetes.”

The development of Coping with Diabetes has been funded by a long-standing donor to JDRF, who has seen first-hand the debilitating impact that type 1 can have on a young person’s mental health.

How to access Coping with Diabetes

The platform is available through the Digibete app, which provides digital information and support directly to children and their families in England, Wales and Scotland (work is underway to extend availability to Northern Ireland). The app is used by over 80% of families and young people in England and Wales recommended by 90% of NHS paediatric diabetes clinics.

To use the app, families should speak to their Diabetes Healthcare Team who can give you a login.

If your child is aged between 10-14 or you are aged 13-14 and already use the Digibete app, follow these steps to access the Coping with Diabetes tool:

  • Make sure you have the latest version of the DigiBete App on your phone
  • Go to Google Play or the App Store to check if you need to update your version of the App
  • If you don’t need to update your app and you cannot see the new button, please logout and log back in with your clinic code and it should appear
  • If you cannot remember your clinic code then please press ‘forgotten clinic code’

For more information visit Digibete website or contact

What’s next?

Coping with Diabetes will be expanded with tailored content and design for older age groups over the next year. Watch this space!

You may also be interested in

Read more
Parents of a boy who has type 1 diabetes

Our guide for parents and carers

Get advice, support and information about caring for a child with type 1.

Read more
A young guy cycling past Georgian houses

Living with type 1 diabetes

Our guide covers living well with type 1, from every day life to health and wellbeing.

Read more
A family of JDRF supporters wearing medals and JDRF t-shirts after completing the One Walk challenge

Get involved!

Find out how you can help raise money to fund research into preventing, treating and finding cures for type 1 diabetes.

Related news

Read more
1 February 2024

Our letter to the producers of Would I Lie to You?

We wrote to the producers of the hit BBC show after they broadcast jokes about type 1 diabetes.

Read more
A doctor talking to a young woman holding a pen
23 January 2024

Parliamentary Inquiry calls for urgent action on type 1 and disordered eating

Parliamentary Inquiry chaired by our Global Health Ambassador, Rt. Hon Theresa May MP and Sir George Howarth MP, highlights the risks of type 1 diabetes-related eating disorders (T1DE).

Read more
Hybrid closed loop technology
Type 1 technology
19 December 2023

NICE Approves hybrid closed loop for the majority of people living with type 1 diabetes in England and Wales

In an historic advancement in the treatment of type 1 diabetes, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) today approves hybrid closed loop for the majority of people living with type 1 diabetes in England and Wales.

Read more
Nina Willer, who used hybrid closed loop technology through pregnancy, and her child.
Treatment research
7 November 2023

Hybrid closed loop technology set to be made available in England and Wales

The announcement is the biggest treatment breakthrough for type 1 diabetes since the discovery of insulin.

Connect with us on social