The Vital Link Between Mental Health and Diabetes: Observing Mental Health Awareness Month in May


May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month, a time when we collectively raise awareness and advocate for the importance of mental well-being. While mental health affects individuals in various ways, it’s crucial to acknowledge the profound connection between mental health and physical conditions like diabetes. In this article, we explore this significant link, emphasizing the importance of support and prioritizing mental health care for individuals living with diabetes.

  1. Mental Health and Diabetes: Numerous studies and reputable organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA), have highlighted the intricate relationship between mental health and diabetes. Diabetes, a chronic condition characterized by high blood glucose levels, can significantly impact an individual’s mental well-being. Conversely, mental health challenges, such as stress, anxiety, and depression, can also influence the management and progression of diabetes.
  2. Impact on Diabetes Management: Managing diabetes requires a holistic approach that includes proper self-care, medication, and consistent lifestyle choices. However, when mental health is compromised, adhering to these necessary measures can become increasingly challenging. Stress, for instance, can elevate blood sugar levels, making it more difficult for individuals with diabetes to maintain stable glucose control. Additionally, anxiety and depression can undermine motivation, leading to poor self-care habits, inadequate diet choices, and inconsistent medication adherence.
  3. Importance of Support and Advocacy: Understanding the interplay between mental health and diabetes highlights the significance of support systems and mental health care for individuals living with this condition. Recognizing the need for emotional support, patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers can work together to provide a nurturing environment for those affected by diabetes. Creating open lines of communication, seeking professional counseling, and connecting with support groups can offer crucial assistance in managing mental health challenges alongside diabetes.
  4. Seeking Professional Help: The CDC emphasizes the role of healthcare professionals in addressing mental health concerns within the context of diabetes. Routine screenings and assessments can help identify mental health issues early on, ensuring timely intervention and support. Healthcare providers can collaborate with patients to develop personalized care plans, incorporating mental health strategies alongside diabetes management techniques. By integrating mental health into diabetes care, individuals can better navigate the challenges, reducing the overall burden on their well-being.
  5. Self-Care and Mental Well-being: Taking care of mental health is a vital aspect of overall well-being for individuals with diabetes. Engaging in self-care practices, such as regular exercise, healthy eating, adequate sleep, and stress reduction techniques, can positively influence both mental and physical health. Engaging in activities that promote relaxation, practicing mindfulness, and maintaining a strong support network are also effective strategies for enhancing mental well-being.

As we observe Mental Health Awareness Month in May, it is crucial to recognize the profound connection between mental health and diabetes. The impact of mental health challenges on diabetes management underscores the importance of prioritizing mental well-being alongside physical health. By providing support, seeking professional help, and engaging in self-care practices, individuals living with diabetes can effectively manage their condition while nurturing their mental health. Family Health Services’ patient centered medical home can help you to embrace a holistic approach to care, fostering a supportive environment that empowers you to lead a healthier and more fulfilling life. Call 419-502-2800 to schedule an appointment with a mental health provider today!


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Diabetes and Mental ” Accessed May 13, 2023.
  2. American Diabetes Association (ADA). “Mental ” Accessed May 13, 2023.
  3. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). “Diabetes and Mental ” Accessed May 13, 2023.

*Content fact checked by Leslie Johnson, MS, RD, LD

The Diet-Betus – our version of recipe of the month just as tasty but with a healthy tweak here and there. This Spinach and Salmon Salad promotes both mental health and diabetes management. Packed with essential nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids, this recipe supports brain health and helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Here’s the recipe:

Spinach and Salmon Salad Servings: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes


    • 2 salmon fillets (4 ounces each)
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 teaspoon canola oil
    • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
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    • 1/2 medium ripe avocado, peeled and cubed
    • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
    • 2 tablespoons sunflower kernels or pepitas (salted pumpkin seeds)
    • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted, optional


  1. Sprinkle salmon with salt.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
  3. Add fillets, skin side up; cook until fish just begins to flake easily with a fork, 4-5 minutes on each side.
  4. In a large bowl, toss spinach with vinaigrette; divide between two.
  5. Place salmon over spinach and top with remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.

Nutrition: Calories: 329 kcals, Total fat: 22g, Saturated fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 19%, Potassium: 17%, Total Carbs: 19 g, Fiber: 7g, Protein: 21g, Vitamin C: 36%, Calcium 6%, Iron: 11%

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