A MUM-of-two with Type one diabetes says sufferers should receive emotional and psychological support, following new research showing it can affect their mental health.

Research conducted by Diabetes UK shows that seven out of ten people feel overwhelmed by the demands of living with diabetes, significantly affecting their mental and physical health.

The survey of more than 2,000 adults with Type 1, Type 2 and other types of diabetes from across the UK shows that three quarters of those who feel overwhelmed say that this affects how well they can manage the condition.

In order to explore the links between mental health and diabetes Diabetes UK collected extensive insights from people affected by the condition and healthcare professionals from across the UK.

One of those is Heather Key from Prescot was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 14 months-old.

The mum-of-two believes people with diabetes should receive emotional and psychological support if they need it.

Heather says that a lack of understanding of diabetes from others has had an impact on her mental health and her diabetes.

Heather, 35, said: “Having been diagnosed with diabetes at a very young age, I’ve never known life without the condition, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been difficult at times.

"Diabetes has impacted on my mental health, as a teenager and after my pregnancies.

"I received support during this time but had to wait for specialist care.

“There’s a lot to juggle when you have diabetes and a lot of pressure to get things right.

"Better public awareness of diabetes and what it’s like living with the condition is incredibly important, but I also think it’s vital for healthcare professionals to understand the impact the condition can have on mental health and vice versa.

"I’ve been lucky to have some brilliant healthcare professionals supporting me with my diabetes, but it is important that specialist care is available for people with diabetes who need emotional and psychological support.”

Diabetes UK is urgently calling on each of the four nations’ health services to create national standards for diabetes emotional and mental health services.

Clare Howarth, Head of the North of England at Diabetes UK, added: “The day-to-day demands of managing diabetes can be a constant struggle affecting people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health.

"In turn, people tell us that struggling emotionally can make it even more difficult to keep on top of self-management.

“Diabetes services that include emotional and psychological support can help people improve both their physical and mental health, reduce pressure on services, and save money.

“Mental health and physical health go hand in hand, but services for people with diabetes don’t always reflect this.

"We need to bridge the divide between physical and mental health services to ensure those with emotional and psychological difficulties related to their condition do not have their needs overlooked.

"It is critical that all diabetes care sees and supports the whole person, and explores what matters most to them.”

Diabetes UK is launching a petition to call for national standards for diabetes mental health support and services.

To sign go to diabetes.org.uk/missing