A drop-in event will be held in Great Yarmouth on World Diabetes Day next month to provide advice and support for people with the condition and the families and friends who care for them.
Many organisations are working together on "You, Me & Diabetes", including Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) and Carers Matter Norfolk.
The event will be opened by Tony Osmanski, Chair of the Board of Directors of ECCH, and will take place at The Kings Centre, 30 Queen Anne's Road, Southtown, on Wednesday, 14 November between 10am and 4pm.
NSFT Carers Lead Howard Tidman said diabetes was a major community health concern.
"You, Me & Diabetes will be the first event of its kind and is a great example of various services working together in a more integrated way than in the past for the greater public good," he said.
"As well as people living with a diagnosis of diabetes, we're encouraging carers to come along, partly because they are often more likely to neglect their own health concerns in favour of those they care for.
"It's also wrong to think of diabetes as purely a physical health condition because there is plenty of evidence to show that people with mental health issues are more susceptible to diabetes – and vice versa.
"For example, it is believed that some medications taken by people for mental health conditions may affect their endocrine system, while a survey that Diabetes UK published last year found that three in five people living with diabetes experience emotional or mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders, as a result of their condition."
Among the other organisations taking part in the day are James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH) and Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Among the speakers will be Maggie Heels, Consultant Nurse for Diabetes at NNUH; Dr Jo Randall, consultant in diabetes and endocrinology at the James Paget Hospital; and Helen Stephen, Education and Training Lead at Cambridgeshire company, DUET Diabetes.
Other speakers include Dr Sarah Fish, a clinical psychologist who works with the diabetes and weight management services at NNUH ("Engaging with young people living with diabetes"); Jessica Adcock, Advanced Medicines Optimisation Pharmacist with Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG; and Dr Vivek Agarwal, a consultant psychiatrist based at Hellesdon Hospital, whose talk will be called "Why are people with mental ill health more susceptible to diabetes?"
The day will also include a "marketplace" of advice stalls where anyone who drops in between 10am and 4pm will be able to pick up information on a wide range of issues, including healthy eating and retinal screening.
* Anyone wanting more information about You, Me & Diabetes should contact Howard Tidman. Tel 07557 290169 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, contact Sarah Steele. Tel 01603 629211 or email email@example.com
Caption: Howard Tidman
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