DESMOND Australia: helping you to live well with type 2 diabetes


An award winning self-management program designed to support people living with type 2 diabetes

What is DESMOND?

Diabetes Education and Self-Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed (DESMOND) is an education program designed to support people living with type 2 diabetes.

How DESMOND helps you to live well with type 2 diabetes [video]

The program recognises that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to diabetes management. It is intended to provide you with a welcoming and non-judgemental space where you can plan how you would like to manage your diabetes.

The program has demonstrated benefits for participants in both Australia and the UK. Results have shown that DESMOND can help you to:

  • lower your HbA1c

  • develop a better understanding of diabetes

  • improve your physical activity levels

  • take steps to lose weight

  • take steps to quit smoking

  • reduce your risk of depression

  • improve your overall health

What does it involve?

DESMOND focuses on providing you with practical skills for managing type 2 diabetes.

It is delivered by trained DESMOND educators who will help you to optimise your self-management through improved knowledge and understanding of your condition.

Throughout the program you will discuss the latest information and guidelines on healthy food choices, physical activity and medication management. You will be able to consider strategies you might like to adopt or changes you might be ready to make.

The program is built around group activities, with participants sharing experiences and talking about what type 2 diabetes means to them. However if you don’t like the idea of sharing your experiences, you won’t be forced to contribute. You will also have the chance to speak to a diabetes educator by yourself if you need to.

At the end of the sessions, participants will have information to take home for reference.

Who can attend?

To be eligible to attend a course you must:

  • have a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes

  • be registered with the National Diabetes Services Scheme

  • be at least 18 years old

You are welcome to attend with your carer or partner.

What else do I need to know?

DESMOND is a six hour program, delivered as a full day session.

Groups can take up to 10 participants living with diabetes, and each participant can bring a partner or friend with them for support.

DESMOND in Australia is in collaboration with DESMOND UK and is now operating across the country and in New Zealand.


New to type 2 diabetes?

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Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, accounting for around 85% of all cases

Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition where the body does still produce some insulin, but that insulin is either ineffective or there is not enough of it. In some cases, both can occur. It is usually seen in adults but is starting to be seen in teenagers and children.

What causes type 2 diabetes?

The exact cause of type 2 diabetes is not known. However research indicates that there are a number of risk factors associated with the condition.

Some of these risk factors – such as diet, physical exercise and weight – are within your ability to control.

However other risk factors – such as age, family history, ethnic background and a history of gestational diabetes – are not within your control.

How do I know if I have type 2 diabetes?

Often there are no obvious symptoms of type 2 diabetes. In fact, it is estimated that for every person diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, there is another person who also has the condition but does not know it.

For some people, the first sign of type 2 diabetes may be a complication of the condition, such as vision problems or a foot ulcer.

Therefore it is important to know the signs, so that you can speak to your doctor if you begin to notice them:

  • excessive thirst
  • gradual increase in weight
  • passing more urine
  • tiredness and lethargy
  • constant hunger
  • cuts that heal slowly
  • itching, skin infections
  • blurred vision
  • mood swings
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • leg cramps

How is type 2 diabetes managed?

Regular physical activity, a healthy eating plan, maintaining a healthy weight and stress management are the cornerstones of managing type 2 diabetes.

Often these lifestyle measures are enough to manage the condition in the beginning.

However it is important to recognise that type 2 diabetes is progressive. This means that over time most people with type 2 diabetes will also need medication and many will also need insulin.

This is just the natural progression of the condition, and medication as soon as it is required can result in fewer complications in the long-term.

DESMOND can help

If you are new to type 2 diabetes and are wondering what it is all about or if you have been living with diabetes for some time and it is driving you up the wall, DESMOND can help.

Take part in the one day program that puts diabetes into perspective and you in the driver’s seat.