Diabetes Scotland wants the Scottish government to make more funds available so people with diabetes have greater access to mental health and psychological support.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and the Scottish charity has issued a series of requests to the government and NHS boards.

People with diabetes are more likely to experience depression, but Diabetes Scotland reports that 40% of GPs say they are not likely ask patients about their mental health in routine diabetes appointments.

The charity added that only one-third of family doctors believe enough emotional and psychological support is available for people with diabetes.

A Parliament event is being held this week to ensure the care of mental health and diabetes is a priority, with a report from Diabetes UK highlighting the need for improved mental health care for those with diabetes.

A spokesperson for Diabetes Scotland said: “The emotional and psychological impacts of diabetes should be recognised in all diabetes care. Everyone affected by diabetes must have access to the support they need, when they need it.”

Angela Mitchell, the charity’s director, said: “The day-to-day demands of managing diabetes can be a constant struggle affecting people’s emotional well-being and mental health.

“People tell us that struggling emotionally can make it even more difficult to keep on top of self-management. And when diabetes cannot be well managed, the risk of dangerous complications, such as amputations, kidney failure and stroke increases.”

A Scottish government spokesman said: “We recognise the challenges faced by people living with all forms of diabetes and the critical interdependence between physical and mental health is well-recognised.

“Through our Mental Health Strategy, which sets out our ambition for the next 10 years, we seek to improve access to psychological therapies and to prevent and treat mental health problems with the same commitment and drive as we do for physical health problems.”

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