World Mental Health Day 2020

09 October 2020

On the occasion of WorldMentalHealthDay on October 10th, IDF Europe would like to take the opportunity to raise awareness of the psychological burden of living with diabetes and the effect this has on one’s mental health.  Read more and watch our video testimonials…

Diabetes is a life-long, progressive condition that demands round-the-clock self-management throughout the course of a person’s life. This is a concept that is often hard to grasp for someone who does not live with the condition. Consequently, the psychological burden of living with diabetes is often underestimated and overlooked. This leads to the needs of people living with diabetes, their families, carers, and relatives being neglected.

People living with diabetes may at times experience increased levels of distress, anxiety, and depression due to the relentless and constant nature of their condition. If these feelings are not addressed they can eventually culminate in burnout whereby one feels completely overwhelmed. This not only affects one’s everyday life, relationships, and emotional state but can negatively impact a person’s ability to manage their diabetes leading to poorer physical health. Studies have also shown that people living with diabetes are 2 to 3 times more likely to experience depression than people who do not live with diabetes. Currently, only 25-50% of people living with diabetes who have depression get diagnosed and treated for it. This is an alarming figure.

On World Mental Health Day we are taking inspiration from diabetes Australia and the pioneering job they have done at highlighting the psychological burden of living with diabetes with their Heads Up on Diabetes campaign. We are asking everyone to speak up about this issue. Record a video of yourself or write a statement about how diabetes has impacted or is impacting your mental health and use the hashtag #MentalHealthForAll. Make sure to tag IDF Europe in your posts too!

Let’s work together to get this higher up on the political agenda in Europe and beyond.

If you or someone you know has been or is being affected by the issues raised in this article, please reach out and seek advice from a qualified medical professional.


Elena from IDF Europe’s Yourah Steering Committee who has lived with diabetes for nearly half of her life shares her perspective on mental health and diabetes for #WorldMentalHealthDay


Pedro, IDF Europe YOURAH member from Portugal, shares his experience with glucose monitors and their effect on his mental health for #WorldMentalHealthDay


MEP Alviina Alametsä shares her commitment to improving mental health for all, including people living with diabetes.


Ana Lúcia from APDP – Portuguese Diabetes Association, a clinical and health psychologist, discusses the mental and emotional exhaustion often experienced by people living with diabetes for #WorldMentalHealthDay


Milla from the Finnish Diabetes Association and IDF Europe YOURAH member highlights the importance of equal access to mental health services for all people living with diabetes on #WorldMentalHealthDay