I read with interest the article by Thorpe and colleagues regarding anxiety and depression in young adults with type 1 diabetes in a university clinic setting [BCMJ 2017;59:310-311].
I read with interest the article by Thorpe and colleagues regarding anxiety and depression in young adults with type 1 diabetes in a university clinic setting [BCMJ 2017;59:310-311]. Mental health issues are unfortunately all too common in this vulnerable age group, as young adults are negotiating the sometimes rocky transition from pediatric to adult endocrine care. The article very rightly points out the role of the mental health provider in helping to identify and treat the depression, anxiety, altered family dynamics, and eating disorders that are observed across the age span of people living with diabetes, perhaps most so in the middle and late adolescent years. Unfortunately, in many areas, there is a paucity of mental health services available to pediatric and adult endocrinologists and other specialists and diabetes educators caring for this population.
I would like to point out a few resources that may be of interest to young adults living with type 1 diabetes. The website of the Endocrinology and Diabetes Unit at BC Children’s Hospital has numerous handouts for patients with type 1, their caregivers, and their medical providers (www.bcchildrens.ca/health-info/coping-support/diabetes). These include handouts specifically addressing alcohol and drug use in diabetes, financial considerations for those turning 19, and social and mental health resources available to young adults transitioning out of pediatric care. As well, Drug Cocktails (www.drugcocktails.ca) is an invaluable resource for youth who need information about mixing medicine with alcohol and street drugs.
Lastly, Young and T1 (https://youngandt1.com) is an excellent social resource for those 18 to 35-plus, organized and run completely by and for young adults living with type 1 diabetes in BC. They have both in-person meet-ups and a strong Facebook presence for those living outside the Lower Mainland.
I thank the authors for reminding those professionals who follow youth with type 1 diabetes how important it is to maintain close communication and follow up with them to help prevent unwanted medical and mental health complications from developing in an age group that is at high risk of dropping out from diabetes care.
—Daniel L. Metzger, MD, FAAP, FRCPC
Pediatric Endocrinologist, BC Children’s Hospital
Clinical Professor of Pediatric, UBC
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