The Diabetes WA team have been on the road this month delivering the adapted Aboriginal DESMOND workshop to people living with type 2 diabetes in both the Collie and Mandurah areas of the South West. Facilitators from Diabetes WA presented the Aboriginal DESMOND workshop over two consecutive days, working in conjunction with Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS) staff from the local areas.
Aboriginal DESMOND is a community co-designed version of the innovative DESMOND program, a structured type 2 diabetes self-management education session which provides participants with practical skills and confidence for self-managing their type 2 diabetes in a welcoming and non-judgemental space. It features additional visual resources and images, more relevant food models and reinforces specific Department of Health strategies for diabetes management in Aboriginal communities.
The adapted program is the result of extensive development over four years with more than 650 participants attending programs and yarning sessions which provided invaluable input from Aboriginal community members. Part of the learnings from the consultation showed the need for a cultural safety pathway to enable local history, beliefs, foods and physical activity to be considered when tailoring the program to meet local Community needs.
“Connecting with local Aboriginal health workers and working together prior to the event sets the foundation for running culturally secure Aboriginal DESMOND workshops.” Natalie Jetta, Diabetes WA’s Aboriginal Health Coordinator, commented. “The local AMS staff help Diabetes WA to identify people who would benefit from the program and often even help them to attend the event on the day.”
“We collaborate to ensure that we set up the workshop in a location where the local indigenous community will feel comfortable and relaxed in order for them to get the most out of the session,” she explained. “The timing of the workshops also need to be culturally sensitive, avoiding times of spiritual practice or ceremony”.
Cultural safety pathways are currently being implemented for Aboriginal DESMOND workshops in Bunbury, Beagle Bay, Bidyadanga, Warburton and Warrakurna, and Diabetes WA hopes to train local Aboriginal health workers across Australia to deliver programs to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are living with type 2 diabetes wherever they are.
For more information, please call our helpline on 1300 001 880. Our helpline is open Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm
*The abbreviation DESMOND stands for Diabetes Education and Self-Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed program.