Skip to main content

JDRF is undergoing a transformation.
We are becoming Breakthrough T1D in October.

breakthrought1d logo
Expert opinion

Raising the profile of diabetes distress in Parliament

Tom Gordon, our Senior Policy and Public Affairs Officer, talks about how and why we’re highlighting mental health and type 1 at the highest levels of government.
Content last reviewed and updated: 14.06.2024

In a recent Westminster Hall debate focusing on mental health and long-term conditions, Peter Dowd MP highlighted the need for mental health support to be integrated into type 1 diabetes care. He noted the essential role of various organisations, including JDRF, in supporting individuals with chronic illnesses.

Dowd highlighted the importance of comprehensive care for people living with type 1, quoting directly from JDRF’s briefing to parliamentarians on coping strategies: “Seeking support from healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, diabetes educators, psychologists, and social workers, is crucial in developing effective coping mechanisms tailored to individual needs.”

Advocating for people with type 1

This mention of our work didn’t happen by chance. Through our parliamentary monitoring we identified that the debate on mental health and long-term conditions had been scheduled. Recognising an opportunity to advocate for the type 1 diabetes community, we proactively engaged with MPs who have shown an interest in healthcare issues, including Dowd who called for the debate. By providing them with a detailed briefing, we ensured they were well-informed about the intersections of mental health and type 1 management.

Our targeted outreach and the briefing we provided played a role in ensuring that key issues for people with type 1 were raised during the course of this parliamentary debate. This engagement not only raised awareness among lawmakers about the specific needs of those living with type 1 diabetes but also underscored the importance of integrated care approaches that include mental health support.

Taking the issues to the people who make health policy

The recognition of JDRF UK in this context allowed us to raise issues that are profoundly significant for everyone living with type 1 diabetes. We highlighted the complex challenges people living with type 1 face, not just in managing blood glucose levels, but in navigating the emotional and psychological impacts of the condition. By bringing these issues to the attention of policymakers, we can advocate for more comprehensive healthcare policies that address both the physical and mental health needs of people living with type 1.

This advocacy work underscores the value of strategic engagement and the impact it can have on public policy discussions. Proactively identifying opportunities to communicate our mission, we continue to ensure that the voices of the type 1 community are heard at the highest levels of government.

Such recognition and awareness are crucial steps toward securing better research funding, enhancing support systems, and ultimately improving the quality of life for those affected by type 1 diabetes.

You may also be interested in

Read more
Illustration of the hybrid closed loop technology system, funded as part of treatment research for type 1 diabetes by JDRF.

Making treatments available

Learn more about our work to get treatments to the people who need or want them.

Read more
Two men hugging to support their emotional wellbeing

Emotional wellbeing

Get advice and information about managing your emotional wellbeing with type 1.

Read more
Researcher Safiya Naina Marikar pipetting in the lab.

Our research

Find out about our research to prevent, treat and cure type 1.