The focus of the meeting was wellbeing, and we welcomed Rona Hardy, Senior Clinician and Lead for the Cambridge and Fenland Integrated Pathway, Psychological Wellbeing Service.
The service offers “talking therapy” for all residents of Cambridgeshire over 17 and has been running for 10 years. Your GP can refer you or you can self-refer either by calling 0300 300 0055 or filling in an on-line form at
Diabetes is one of the conditions on which the service has a particular focus, as the psychological difficulties can impact the ability to self-manage. There is a range of emotional problems that are common to those with diabetes, such as depression, anxiety, acceptance of the diagnosis, and difficulties with medication and needle phobia. Often those diagnosed don’t react initially but 2-3 years later the full impact of their condition hits. You can then be caught in the anxiety of coping, which can lead to a deterioration of your condition. The group discussed this, and several members had only begun taking diabetes seriously following a “wake up call”.
A common treatment is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle. CBT aims to help you deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts. You’re shown how to change these negative patterns to improve the way you feel.
Unlike some other talking treatments, CBT deals with your current problems, rather than focusing on issues from your past. It looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis.
A question asked was how do you decide your problems require help. Rona recommended a video available on YouTube on Black Dog Depression, which explains the problems we can encounter and how therapy can help: https://youtu.be/7Bxq2mRYQos. There is also a simple screening questionnaire that may also help you decide if you should seek help – see attached.