Diabetes is one of the most common illnesses in school-aged children affecting over 200,000 children under 20 years of age. (2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet). Even though the illness cannot be seen, diabetes is a big deal because fluctuations in blood sugar levels have detrimental mood, school work and occupational consequences. Many children with diabetes feel isolated from their peers, so support groups are a way to conquer the isolation.
Children’s Harbor Endocrinology Counselor, Heather Jordan, has partnered with the Southern Diabetes Education Services and created a “Girl’s Night Out” support group at the Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children. Activities include painting, crafts, service activities and much-much more.
Rhonda McDavid, Southern Diabetes Education Services Director, values what the group is accomplishing. “Ongoing friendships and support from those who understand diabetes is so important at this age. They are able to talk about their challenges, friendship issues,and discuss coping within their family and day-to-day lives. Positive motivation to manage their illness and the tips they learn will have a lasting impact on their self-confidence and health.”