The information on this page is designed for NHS healthcare professionals to support them in using the Talking Type 1 resources within their clinical work.
There are currently four books in the Talking Type 1 range:
- Diabetes Burnout
- Not OK with Needles?
- Diabetes Distress and Burnout for Parents and Carers
- How to Manage a Mammoth
Each bilingual book has been written by a diabetes psychologist to help support people with diabetes (PWD) who are experiencing common mild-moderate psychological issues in relation to their condition. These books are particularly helpful in instances where a person is starting to struggle, but referral to diabetes psychology may not be required, or may not be practical (e.g. due to lack of staff, long waiting lists, or the PWD being unable to attend for appointments).
The books use a guided self-help model; this means that each book can provide a basic-level psychological intervention, which is supported and boosted by support from a member of the person’s care team. Any professional with a relationship with the PWD should be able to provide the support alongside the book.
Examples of the care team support around the book could include:
- Talking through the book and getting the PWD to feel enthusiastic about it as you give it out
- Staying in touch with the PWD to find out how they’re getting on with the book
- Setting the PWD ‘homework’ tasks (e.g. reading through particular pages or completing particular exercises) between support sessions
- Keeping a note of any goals or plans that the PWD makes as a result of reading the book and reviewing these
- Organising a review session with the PWD after they’re read the book to reflect on what they’ve learned and setting ongoing goals
The books are in no way designed to be used in lieu of an adequately staffed diabetes psychology service. Where staff have concerns about the wellbeing of a PWD or their family, consultation with psychology colleagues should always be sought and safeguarding protocols followed.
General Tips for using the resources
Know the content – it’s essential that you’re familiar with the content of the books before you give them out. This will help you to anticipate any potential areas of difficulty and may also be useful for your own CPD. There are areas in each of the blue books for personalised information (e.g. contact details for local services) – please fill these in.
Advertise, but don’t leave them – we know that many people in services will be struggling with the issues covered by the books, but may not have the confidence or awareness of the issue to raise it with you. It’s important to regularly advertise the availability of the books through your usual communication channels (e.g. newsletters or Digibete). You may wish to display the books in your clinic areas, but please do not leave them out in waiting areas – you need to know who is using the books so that you can effectively support them.
- Get people ‘on-board’ – doing this as you give the books out is key to ensuring that people will use them when they go home. We recommend the three following strategies:
- ‘Sell’ them – you will probably already have a relationship with the PWD you are giving the book to, and will have credibility in their eyes as a healthcare professional. If you can demonstrate that you are enthusiastic about the books and think they’re useful, the PWD will think the same and be more likely to use them.
- Write on them – the blue books all have areas that PWD can write in to create their own personalised plans, but sometimes people feel reluctant or anxious to do this. We suggest writing the person’s name on the cover of the book as you give it out, and going through the first questionnaire with them to give them ‘permission’ to write all over the book.
- Link them to the person’s issues – the books should only be given out where relevant issues have been identified. Again, completing the questionnaire with the PWD can demonstrate how relevant the book will be to them. N.B. for the parent & carers book this may not be appropriate if their child is in the room – it may be preferable to advertise the availability of the book and wait for the parent/carer to approach you about it instead.
- Know your next steps – for some PWD the content of the books will be sufficient to help them manage and/or resolve their difficulties. However for those with more severe difficulties the content of the books may not be enough – in these cases the care of the PWD may need to be referred to diabetes psychology and/or mental health services.
- Feed back to us – Each book contains a link to an online survey that is used for continual evaluation and improvement of the range. Anyone who has used the resources is welcome to complete the survey, be they PWD, staff or family members. We’re also keen to hear about any situations where the books have been used particularly successfully – please email these accounts to us.