Peer support groups come in all shapes and sizes to help individuals find a beneficial community of people just like them. By definition, peer support is defined as support from a person who has knowledge from their own experience with, in this case, diabetes. This support can include a person affected by diabetes (caretaker or loved one) or a person with diabetes. Peer support can be found in the form of a local support group (hospitals, clinics, meetups), an online group forum, social media platforms, apps, video conferencing, phone calls or other forms of telecommunication. Dr. Litchman at the University of Utah College of Nursing says, “online spaces can provide continuity of support no matter where you live. As long as you have internet, you can stay connected to a community that understands what you are going through.” This rings even more true and necessary in 2020 as mental health concerns are higher and we are all spending time away from the things and people we love.
The diabetes online community or #DOC has been a tremendous source of support for many diabetics. This community has given diabetics a place to have “real-life” connections and information about living with diabetes. It allows diabetics a virtual place to connect with others and express their frustrations with a disease many aren’t familiar with to people who feel those same frustrations. According to users of the group, this is a space where diabetics share their day-to-day experiences with the diabetes community for the world to see, cheer each other on, find emotional support and learn from others in their shoes. The #DSMA (Diabetes Social Media Advocacy) chat on twitter has been a virtual support reaching diabetics across the globe since 2009!
Facebook groups are another great option for virtual support groups to connect with other diabetics. Join as many as you want or find that one that’s just right for you and your journey as a diabetic! While joining a Facebook group, be sure to also follow hashtags on Instagram and Twitter to add a constant flow of education and support during your scrolls on social media.
Looking for an in-person support group? DiabetesSister PODS meetups are an in-person peer support group that reaches thousands of people each year. These programs are run by women living across the country in with meet-ups in almost every city! Women in these groups make lifelong friends while learning and thriving from one another’s experiences. DiabetesSisters offers a similar program online for those who don’t have access to a local meetup. Join a group, share, engage, and learn from inspiring women just like you!
Looking to get connected online? Here are a handful of hashtags to follow and Facebook groups to join!
- Type 1 Diabetes Support Group
- Type 2 diabetes recipes and chat
- Type 2 Diabetes Support – For Women
- Type 1 Diabetes Support Group
- Reversing Diabetes Type 2 Support Group
Hashtags to Follow on Instagram and Twitter:
- #diabetes #T1D #type1diabetes #gbdoc #insulin4all #diabetic #diabetessisters #DSMA and many more that you’ll find searching through these!