Living With Diabetes During The Pandemic

On November 22, Toronto Diabetes Care Connect (TDCC) and the Cross-Organization Planning Committee (with members from Regent Park Community Health Centre and Bridgepoint Family Health Team) hosted a virtual webinar for healthcare providers called “Providing Holistic Healthcare: Managing Diabetes During the Pandemic.”

Panel members included an endocrinologist (Jeremy Gilbert, TDCC endocrinology lead), registered social worker (Stephen Fenn, DECNET program), diabetes nurse educator (Jane Rajah, Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre) and an individual living with type 2 diabetes.

Previously, in April 2020, as the health care system was shifting to virtual care, TDCC hosted another webinar on supporting individuals living with diabetes during the pandemic. One-and-a-half years later, the aim of the recent November event was to provide an opportunity to discuss the impacts the pandemic has had on people living with diabetes and the health care providers supporting them, and the way care has been provided. Key themes of the discussion were the mental health challenges facing individuals experiencing barriers and supporting connections to resources.

The discussion highlighted many of the challenges people have been facing, and provided an opportunity to share resources and look forward with hope. From the responses of attendees and panel members, it was clear that health care providers are committed to supporting people living with diabetes through the pandemic, recovery and renewal.