Information alert

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Living with Diabetes

When diabetes comes into the lives of young people and their families, it can mean they have to navigate a lot of different challenges. Diabetes can bring lots of changes and things to think about as well as feelings like sadness, anger, or worry.

All the talking and thinking about diabetes can be overwhelming, making it difficult to stay on track with your diabetes care, connected to the important people in your life, and working towards your goals.

Your diabetes team will always be keeping these challenges in mind, but sometimes young people and their families find it helpful to have a space especially for thinking about how these challenges are impacting on you them and that’s where the psychology team come in.

The Psychology Team

The psychology team work with you and your team thinking about how they might sort things out and get back on track. Young people tell us that meeting with psychology has helped them to:

  • Communicate their worries and hopes with the important people around them.
  • Find different ways to make needles less of a worry.
  • Find ways of better managing stress.
  • Find their motivation to stay on track with their diabetes care.
  • Connect them with their strengths and skills to put diabetes in its place.
  • Reconnect with the things in life they enjoy.

For families, it can be useful to have a space to think together about diabetes, think about the different skills and abilities different family members have that can help to reduce the effects of diabetes on day-to-day life, as well as get some new ideas for coping together.

Something that’s really important is that the psychology team is part of your diabetes team:

  • They share their knowledge and skills with each other to help make sure your diabetes care is as complete as possible.
  • They know about diabetes and are up to date with your medical care.
  • Your psychologist can think with you about what you might like to share from psychology sessions, in your words, to help the diabetes team to support you as best they can.
  • If it’s helpful they can also have a chat with other people, like staff at your school, to help them in thinking about how they best support you.

What happens if you agree to a referral to the psychology team?

If you agree to a referral, we will:

  • Arrange to speak to you on the phone to check out what you want.
  • If it seems that psychology might be a good fit for you, you’ll be invited to meet with the team for around 60-90 minutes so they can get to know you a bit more and understand what is going on for you and how they might help. This could happen online or in person. A really important part of this meeting will be about getting to know you as a person, so they can make the most of all your strengths and abilities. There is never any pressure to talk about anything or do anything you don’t want to. You are welcome to invite along any member of your family or the clinical team to the first meeting.
  • If you or members of your family don’t speak English we will arrange for an interpreter to come to the meeting.
  • Some people find it helpful to just have one meeting, but if you agree that it would be helpful to meet again, then more appointments can be arranged. We are able to offer online or in person appointments, or we can also arrange for a referral to another service closer to home.
  • Our conversations with you and your family are confidential unless something makes us concerned about your safety. We would then talk with you about who would need to know to make sure that we keep yousafe. We will write directly to you and send you copies of letters that we write to your GP and to the diabetes team.
  • You might also be invited to join one of the psychology groups, which use creative and other activities to think about different areas of life, and help you to express yourself. The best thing about these groups is getting to know other young people with Diabetes, and hearing how they cope with the challenges that Diabetes has brought into their lives, and having the opportunity to tell your story in a way that makes you feel stronger. You do not need to have individual psychology sessions to access the groups.

How to get in touch with us

You can ask a member of your diabetes team to make a referral to the team. You can also refer yourself:

Telephone: 020 3447 9086


Diabetes team Contact Details:

Emergency mobile: 07940 476811



Further information and fact sheets can be found on our Children and Young People’s Diabetes web page at