Diabetes Victoria – Introducing DESMOND

Thank you to for Diabetes Victoria for writing this guest post on the DESMOND program. Diabetes Victoria is the leading charity and peak consumer body working to reduce the impact of diabetes.

Introducing DESMOND

Diabetes Victoria’s DESMOND program is designed to help people with type 2 diabetes make better choices about their health.

Most people spend only a short period of time with their health care professional each year. The rest of the time they need to make daily lifestyle decisions about their type 2 diabetes. The DESMOND program is a very important first step on this journey. The name stands for diabetes education and self-management for ongoing and newly diagnosed diabetes. DESMOND is a structured group education program which delivers a lot of information about diabetes over six hours.

“The DESMOND program is the only evidence-based education program in Australia that emphasises that, for a person with type 2 diabetes, their most valuable health resource is themselves,” says Deb Schofield, general manager of DESMOND Australia. “There is evidence to show that better self-management of diabetes can result in significant and sustained weight loss, increased physical activity levels, and improved wellbeing.”

Specially trained DESMOND educators provide up-to-date information in small groups of up to 10 people. The courses are also an opportunity for people to meet up with others living with diabetes and to share their experiences. Participants are welcome to bring a partner or friend for support.

The six hour program is either run over one full day or two half days and includes workshops that teach practical skills for managing diabetes as well as opportunities to discuss things that affect diabetes, such as food choices, physical activity and medications.

Mary, who attended a DESMOND course in Melbourne recently, says: “DESMOND is a great way to be able to meet and talk to others in the same situation. The comfort I found in the session was that it was really about us, the people with diabetes, and it wasn’t six hours of ‘you mustn’t do this or that’.”

DESMOND may help people with diabetes to achieve:

  • better blood glucose levels
  • improved health outcomes
  • weight loss
  • more physical activity
  • stop smoking
  • better understanding of diabetes
  • feel better emotionally/ reduced depression.

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