Something’s new in the world of diabetes online social media and it isn’t a new site. Rather, it’s a simple, engaging 3-page guide to steer you to excellent and trustworthy diabetes web sites. Sites where you’ll find a wealth of both general and very specific information, and, be able to connect with others living with diabetes.
I’m impressed by the collaboration between medical professionals and diabetes advocates. Together they did the hard work to make the wealth of diabetes information and support found online more attainable and useful to both people with diabetes and diabetes health providers alike.
Knowing this started as a conversation some years ago, I’m also inspired by how mountains can move when people decide to move them.
This effort was led by former President of the American Association of Diabetes Educators, Hope Warshaw, and founder of DiabetesDaily, David Edelman, who had the help of many diabetes advocates. The guide points you to vetted diabetes peer support communities, blogs, news and magazine sites, organizations, government resources and advocacy organizations.
True, this community of patient resources and patient compassion has existed on the internet for some time. What’s different is now you have a guide where and how to find them.
I cannot stress enough how taking advantage of the information and emotional support online, from people living through what you’re living through, can change your every day life.
ALERT: Learning, and hooking in online, does not replace your health care providers. This rich world adds to your knowledge and support by offering communities where you may make new acquaintances, feel less alone or inspired to get involved, and you can ask questions and get real, lived advice.
As someone, myself, in this online diabetes community, I have made stellar friends and acquaintances, I constantly learn what’s new and what’s coming, and I often get answers to questions I would never think to ask my doctor. And I’m healthier, and more engaged in my self-management, for it.
Warshaw and Edelman share a letter why this effort began and what it truly offers – not just to people living with diabetes but those who treat them and care for them.
As a diabetes nurse, educator, dietitian or physician, as a community health worker, social worker or psychologist who works with people who have diabetes, you will benefit from seeing what’s being exchanged online between people with diabetes. You’ll get deeper insights what diabetes is like to live with and you’ll be able to give your patients and clients a resource that may help them get more motivated, committed and engaged in their own care.
Susannah Fox, healthcare and information technology researcher and former Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, does a great job outlining the benefits of online peer support in this video.