Type 1 diabetes (T1D) can be incredibly isolating. Many people managing T1D know few or no others in their situation. On top of T1D itself, an individual may feel further isolated by their unique situation; for example, living as a racialized person with T1D, caring for a very young child with T1D, going through menopause with T1D, coping with complications of diabetes, or aging out of parental or provincial insurance coverage.
Using a unique approach, we will create a sustainable peer support program that is led by people with T1D, to improve the mental health and quality of life of people with T1D across Canada. CommuniT1D will be a virtual community led by people with T1D and supported by the research team who bring expertise in mental health, diabetes care, psychology, and social support. This program is intended to continuously adapt to the needs of the community, while the research will focus on the feasibility and acceptability of the program as well as its impact on diabetes distress, quality of life, well-being, diabetes management, and use of resources.
CommuniT1D will be an ongoing virtual community that includes recurring small group meetings as well as large webinars. The small group meetings will foster relatedness while providing emotional and informational peer support. Peer leaders will be trained to moderate these meetings for people with T1D who share common characteristics or situations (for example, preferred language, ethnocultural group, stage of life, hobbies/interests, etc.). The large webinars will be planned for the community to deliver T1D-related information and hear from expert speaks on topics such as: depression and anxiety with T1D, better sleep with T1D, disordered eating in T1D, meditation and mindfulness tools, financial advice, caring for loved ones with T1D, etc. Stay tuned for more information on how you can be part of CommuniT1D.