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SEARHC Diabetes Self-Management Program Helps Patients’ Confidence

SITKA — SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) will introduce a Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) at no cost for Sitkans with type 2 diabetes beginning in February 2018.

Developed by Stanford University, the evidence-based program helps participants deal with the various types of diabetes symptoms, including fatigue, pain, and emotional issues. Those attending receive guidelines about how to eat and sleep better, manage day-to-day activities, and create an action plan.

The program is an interactive workshop led by trained leaders that meets for 2 ½ hours once a week for six weeks.

Topics introduced during the program include techniques to deal with the symptoms of diabetes like feeling tired, pain, hyper/hypoglycemia, stress, and emotional issues such as depression, anger, fear, and frustration. The workshops also cover exercises for maintaining and improving strength and endurance; healthy eating; the importance of taking medications as prescribed and tools to help keep track of them; and ways to work more effectively with healthcare providers.

“Classes are very interactive and participatory. Support from the facilitator and other participants will build confidence in your ability to manage your diabetes and maintain an active lifestyle,” said SEARHC Health Educator, Jessika Beam.

The DSMP begins Saturday, February 3, 2018, and continues each Saturday from 9:30am-noon through March 10. All six sessions will be at the Sitka Kitch located in the First Presbyterian Church (505 Sawmill Creek Road).

SEARHC’s Diabetes Self-Management Program is open to all Sitka community members with diabetes as well as to friends and family who want to support the people they care about that are living with diabetes. There is no cost to participate.

While the program does not begin until February, the participation is limited, so anyone interested is encouraged to register early. For additional information, people can contact any of the SEARHC workshop leaders, Kelly Lakin RD, LD Diabetes Case Manager/Diabetes Educator at klakin@searhc.org or 907.966.8369, or Heleena van Veen, Health Educator at heleenav@searhc.org or 907.966.8914.