Diabetes Counselling Online is an online counselling and support service for all Australian people living with all types of diabetes, their families and friends. We are a not for profit, gift deductible charity and the only charity organisation in Australia specifically offering free online counselling and diabetes education to all people with diabetes.
The service is based in Australia and is intended for Australian residents. The service is FREE for Australian residents.
When using this service in group areas, please respect each other’s privacy and that of health professionals during any public discussions by not mentioning individuals by name.
Please contact your usual doctor with any urgent medical concerns and/or attend your local Emergency Department in a medical emergency. We are a small charitable organisation and at times there can be delays in our response to emails of up to a week. Please be patient!
Social Media and Online Communications policy
We take our responsibility to consider all of our communications with people very seriously- both individually and online in group forums and chat sessions. This includes here and on social media sites. We have developed the following Policy Document here
Funding Diabetes Counselling Online
This service was self funded from 2001 – 2004 by our Founder.
It was then partially funded under the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) administered by Diabetes Australia Ltd from 2004 – 2009. This enabled Diabetes Counselling Online to develop as an independent charity and establish our services. We have been solely supported by volunteers, fundraising, donations, sponsors and grants from 2009 – 2012.
In 2012 we have won a 3 year grant with the Commonwealth Department for Health and Ageing which we gratefully acknowledge. This will allow us to grow our services and ensure sustainability into the future. The grant ceases in July 2015. You will see a range of changes and developments across the next 3 years.
NDSS - National Diabetes Services Scheme
We recommend that you register with the NDSS, as it provides valuable services and reduced costs in regards to supplies for your diabetes products, such as syringes and blood glucose testing strips and it is free to join.
You can access the NDSS forms here and take to your doctor or diabetes educator for submission: http://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/ndss/
Diabetes Counselling aims and principles
This service operates from the belief that people with diabetes are “ordinary” people who are living with an “extraordinary” situation. This means that if you are experiencing difficulties or problems you are not seen as the problem, or as having something wrong with you. The problems are always seen as being outside of you and as something that can be tackled.
This service aims to:
- Provide short term e-counselling and diabetes education
- Identify alternatives and develop solutions with you around any problems or concerns you have that are impacting on your diabetes and your life
- Provide support, encouragement and connections with others
- Work with you towards developing new ways of coping, building on your successes and positive experiences in living with diabetes.
With on-line diabetes counselling and education:
- You can bring up anything that is a concern to you
- At your own pace, we will try to help you to work out what the problems are and how you may tackle them
- It can sometimes be helpful just to talk to someone about your concerns
- You can create new ways of thinking about your life living with diabetes and your “life story”.
As we are a not-for-profit charity with limited funding and high demand for services, we need some guidelines as to how long we can provide individual counselling and education. This has been set at up to 6 hours worth of time.
One session is considered to be an email from you and a reply from us. Some of these “sessions” might be very short, others might take an hour or so. In this way some people might have many emails and some, only a few.
Most people find this is enough time to deal with the issues, along with using the other areas of the service. If you have any concerns about this, please let us know and we can chat about it. We will keep an eye on how long we are spending each time we email you.
Diabetes Counselling Online sees itself as:
- a major contributor to improved mental health, wellbeing and self management for all people with diabetes;
- a unique, innovative and creative service for all people with diabetes;
- a leader in community advocacy and awareness raising for all people with diabetes;
- a major contributor to public awareness of the psychosocial problems and needs of people living with diabetes; and
- a contributor to research into psychosocial problems and needs in diabetes care.
Values and beliefs
Diabetes Counselling Online values above all else the wellbeing of all people living with diabetes.
- Diabetes Counselling Online believes that all people with diabetes should have access to high quality, free and easily accessible counselling, education and peer support in one place.
- Diabetes Counselling Online operates from the principle that people with diabetes are ordinary people dealing with an extraordinary situation.
- Services are provided against a background belief that people are not the problem. If a person is experiencing difficulties or problems that person is not seen as the problem, or as having something wrong with them. The problems are always seen as being outside of the person. Counselling explores and addresses these problems as separate from the person.
- Diabetes Counselling values the pursuit of the highest standards of professionalism, quality and ethics and its Counsellors practice under the standards of practice of the Australian Association of Social Workers; Australian Diabetes Educators Association, Dietitians Association of Australia and Australian Psychological Society, as appropriate.
- In everyday interactions with clients and the community Diabetes Counselling Online values fairness, honesty, open communication, transparency, confidentiality and integrity, of all those associated with the organisation.
- Diabetes Counselling Online aims to work in collaborative partnerships with the community, government, non-government and like-minded organisations.
- Diabetes Counselling Online welcomes the diversity and roles of all involved with the organisation and encourages community participation in an online “diabetes community” – communicating and connecting.
- Diabetes Counselling Online will operate from an inclusive philosophy, exploring and developing services to support Indigenous communities; Non- English-Speaking-Background communities; and vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.
- Diabetes Counselling Online will strive for continuous improvement and innovation in its practice.
Statement of purpose
Diabetes Counselling Online will work with people with diabetes, family members and care givers, communicating and
- identifying problems, exploring their effects and developing strategies to address them, with individuals, groups and communities;
- identifying barriers to diabetes self management and developing strategies and tools for addressing barriers;
- identifying and sharing tools for increased wellbeing with individuals, groups and communities;
- developing a range of consumer and educational resources;
- encouraging and enabling people to seek and maintain contact with primary health care providers and other support services; and
- enabling and encouraging connections between people with diabetes.
Please be aware that this service is based in Australia. Our team are trained in and adhere to the legislation and practice guidelines of Australia only. This makes it very difficult for the service to provide appropriate personal services for overseas visitors.
The service is currently free of charge and we hope to keep it this way – your support will enable us to do so. We currently work with more than 60 new people each month and receive in excess of 30,000 hits and 350 visits per day to our website.
Diabetes Counselling Online Inc does not give personal medical advice. Information on this site should not be used for diagnosing or treating diabetes. Nor should information found here take the place of the advice of your doctor or medical team. Always see your diabetes specialist if you have concerns about your diabetes care. Links to information about the medical aspects of diabetes can be found here, but Diabetes Counselling Online Inc takes no responsibility for any information obtained via any link. Diabetes Counselling Online Inc and any person involved with providing this service takes no responsibility for any advice provided by another member of the public in discussions held in forums and chat rooms. It is up to you to make your own decisions about such information provided in these forums.
Honesty in advertising & editorial policy
Diabetes Counselling Online does not display advertising for commerical purposes. Diabetes Counselling Online does not receive any funding or direct income from advertising or commercial relationships.
We do however, display links, logos and information about partner organisations; sponsors and supporters.These organisations may provide funding or sponsorship without direct commercial gain. Any articles or links provided by such organisations will be of an educational nature and not connected to a commercial venture.
We will never promote one particular product over another, but rather provide information about all options for management of diabetes and wellbeing – with it being up to the consumer as to their choices. The fact that one company may sponsor us does not necessarily suggest their products to be superior.
“Friendly” links, or partner organisations are provided for the use of consumers in seeking other resources and avenues of support. These are not advertisements.
Source of Content on our site
Where does the information on our site come from?
The majority of the content on our site is written by our Director, Helen Edwards, in conjunction with our counselling and education team and Board of Management. Helen is a qualified Diabetes Educator and Mental Health Social Worker and as such, is qualified to contribute information related to the management of diabetes and mental health. We also work with our sponsors and other colleagues such as doctors and dietitians, on the content of various pages such as our Food Matters pages.
Any information taken from other sources will be referenced and links provided to the original sources.
Please see individual pages for references and bibliography.