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Join this mental health support group for young adults living with diabetes

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) has over 160 mental health support groups nationwide. These groups are free to attend and offer support to all those who need it – and their families.

SADAG recently launched a new support group for young adults living with diabetes. We had a chat with one of their co-facilitators, Courtney Sandham, to find out more.

Why an online support group specifically for young adults living with diabetes?

Living with diabetes comes with its own set of mental health challenges. It is not easy to have to do your pancreas’ job and I wish more mental health support was given to people, not only when they are diagnosed, but throughout their treatment process. I really wanted to be able to break the isolation that many feel when they get diagnosed. Thanks to SADAG, I have been lucky enough to do so.

Being a young adult also comes with a lot of change (like moving out of home for the first time, starting a job, perhaps entering a serious relationship). Having to navigate diabetes management on top of all these changes can be challenging. I felt that a support group would be the perfect space for everyone to explore these changes and help each other out along the way.

This support group is a safe space for young people with diabetes to connect and share their experiences.

Courtney Sandham

Do any of your facilitators have diabetes?

Yes! I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 10. My wonderful co-facilitator, Arran, has been a great support to me and my brother (who also lives with Type 1) for a long time.

How do you hope the sessions will help?

What I am hoping everyone will gain from these sessions is the feeling of a safe space to laugh, cry, vent, and share their personal experience of diabetes. I am hoping that everyone leaves feeling less isolated, and more connected to others. I believe that this support group has, at the very least, allowed me to connect with others in a way I never knew was possible. It’s amazing how quickly you are able to bond with someone else who understands the struggles of diabetes.

How to join the support group

Contact Courtney on 079 940 0917 to join free online Zoom sessions every 1st Tuesday of the month at 6pm.

Find out more about SADAG’s different support groups here.

What to read next?

Diabetes and depression: a helpful guide to know what to do next

What is diabetes burnout?: Diabetes burnout is a normal emotion for diabetics to feel at any given time,” explains Gabi Richter, a Type 1 diabetic and counsellor.

Diabetes and mental health: We invited Daniel Sher, clinical psychologist and also a Type 1 diabetic, we really wanted to dive deep into diabetes and mental health.

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Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.