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Where can you get peer support?

Sometimes only someone who is in the same situation can fully grasp the way living with diabetes feels and what is weighing on your mind. Peer support is support based on experiential knowledge.

Would you like to share your experiences and thoughts with your peers? Would you like to have someone in your life who understands the worries and challenges of living with a lifelong condition?

Peer support is sharing and listening – support based on knowledge built on experience. The loved ones of the person with diabetes – such as a parent or partner – may also be in need of peer support.

You can find and offer peer support, for example, via the activities, events or websites of the Finnish Diabetes Association or its local branches as well as different courses, offered either face to face or online.

The Finnish Diabetes Association, Kela, many rehabilitation institutions as well as your care centre arrange adjustment training courses for persons with diabetes. In addition to peer support, the courses provide a good info package about the current care of diabetes as well as self-care tools.

Many local diabetes associations have trained peer support persons and peer support groups. There are groups for people of different ages and, for example, persons with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Family clubs are mainly meant for families with a child under the age of 12 with diabetes.

You can find information about peer support persons and groups either by asking the local diabetes association directly or by emailing the Finnish Diabetes Association at vertaistuki@diabetes.fi.

Would you prefer to discuss diabetes and your thoughts about it on the phone with the volunteers of the Diabetes Association? You can contact trained peer support persons who are in a similar situation in life as you are by calling the Finnish Diabetes Association’s “Kysy diabeteksesta” (“Ask about diabetes”) helpline. You can talk to a diabetes nurse who will pass on your contact request.

The Diabetes Association's online peer support brings together people of different ages and life situations who have diabetes and their loved ones.

There are several Facebook groups for people with diabetes and their loved ones. There are groups, e.g. for parents of children with diabetes, young people, persons with type 1 or type 2 diabetes as well as a LADA group, MODY group, Libre group, gestational diabetes group and a group for the family members of persons with diabetes. Some of the groups were created by the Diabetes Association.

Sometimes, you need a break from your daily routines to escape the pressures of coping and living with diabetes. Doing it together with other people in a similar situation provides you with new energy to manage with your daily life.

The Diabetes Association organises courses in Tampere and other parts of Finland for persons with diabetes and their family members. There are courses for all age groups. The different courses by diabetes professionals provide a wide range of opportunities for the participants to share experiences. For example, the family courses include activities for parents, children and siblings.

The courses are of different lengths. Some of the courses are free, some are subject to a deductible and some are covered by your diabetes care provider.

Kela also organises adjustment training courses for different target groups at several different rehabilitation institutions around Finland.

Updated 8.11.2023