Diabetes Education Community Network of East Toronto (DECNET) Update

Our diabetes education program, DECNET, has been busy over the summer, and we enter the fall with some good news: we will be resuming our monthly in-person support groups in collaboration with East End Community Health Centre (EECHC). The group ran out of EECHC’s space for many years prior to the pandemic and was a great place to get together to discuss topics related to type 2 diabetes. EECHC is our gracious host and their staff will also be facilitating sessions during the month group, on various topics. Our collaboration with EECHC continues with an online exercise program as well. DECNET clients can also attend in-person exercise groups offered by their Kinesiologist. Our aim this time around is to use a wellness lens and talk about type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions. This will also be a space to share local community updates and resources related to health and wellbeing.

In addition to this ‘in-person’ support group, we have been offering a virtual support group for clients who prefer to attend sessions over the phone or online. This group addresses topics related to diabetes management with the added dimension of mental health included. This group also sees a variety of facilitators and a wide range of topics discussed.

Other groups currently being offered at DECNET include two other language-specific support groups. Our Chinese diabetes support group continues to run virtually once a month in Cantonese and Mandarin. We also have a Bengali-speaking dietitian who facilitates a session every other month with the Bengali Seniors Active Living Centre at Harmony Hall. We aim to bring cultural knowledge and experience to discussions on managing type 2 diabetes at these sessions.

For people who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and are newly referred by their primary care providers, we offer a monthly virtual diabetes prevention session. The stand-alone session discusses risk factors for type 2 diabetes, understanding blood glucose target ranges and then dives into healthy eating and lifestyle.

Topics at the various groups over the next several months will include: budgeting for food, understanding your relationship with food, planning for the holidays, breast cancer awareness, the importance of physical activity, diabetes distress and stress management.

Feel free to reach out to us if you would like to join any of our groups – 416-461-9043 x 2362.