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Volume 36, Number 1, pages 10-12

The Benefits of Peer Support for Parents of Children With Type 1 Diabetes

Elisa Brier Cruz, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Bronx, NY; M.S. Candidate, Diabetes Education and Management, Teachers College, Columbia University

Given the intensive and complex demands of caring for children with Type 1 diabetes, the notable levels of psychological distress experienced by many parents, which can ebb and flow with changing demands, are not surprising. However, the same complex demands can make it easy for health-care providers to overlook parents’ emotional needs as they first address pressing or overt medical concerns. Directly questioning parents about their emotional well-being and that of their children and family as a whole can help identify those who may benefit from connecting with trusted sources of peer support. If in-house systems are not in place to make such connections, there are a plethora of large, reputable resources that can be shared. Access to such support can help parents cope with the emotional manifestations and practical challenges of their new job and empower them to meet its at times overwhelming demands.

Childhood diabetes