New Beginnings Toolkit: Frequently Asked Questions

Key points

  • New Beginnings: A Discussion Guide for Living Well With Diabetes is a tool to help people and their family members take positive action to manage the condition.
  • Find answers to frequently asked questions about the guide.

How are New Beginnings materials different?

There are a lot of videos and booklets about diabetes. New Beginnings focuses on the often-overlooked side of managing diabetes: emotional and social support. New Beginnings uses a storytelling approach to open and guide discussions. This connects emotionally with participants and helps them think in new ways about how they manage diabetes. New Beginnings emphasizes:

  • Participant-centered design.
  • Mindfulness practices.
  • Critical thinking skills.
  • Building self-confidence.
  • Managing stress.

Not everyone in my group is a Black American person. Can I still use New Beginnings?

The stories in New Beginnings focus on Black American characters. But the issues and lessons learned can apply to all people with diabetes and their families. It might help for your group to talk about how some things are different in their families, cultures, or community groups. You can also use stories that have characters who are more similar to the people in your group.

How can I use New Beginnings as a diabetes care and education specialist?

You can use the discussion guide and resources in a variety of settings such as clinics, support groups, and diabetes retreats. It can be used to supplement the diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) services you are already offering. Use New Beginnings to help your clients:

  • Recognize how the emotional side of diabetes can affect diabetes self-care.
  • Understand the importance of diabetes care and self-management.
  • Set goals and develop plans for adopting diabetes self-care behaviors.

How can I use New Beginnings as a health minister?

Use New Beginnings to start a support group for congregation or community members with diabetes and their families. Health ministries can provide the support people need to accept their condition. They can offer programs that help people make healthier choices by linking those choices to deeper values. Faith communities can also provide healthy food at events and activities.

Your health ministry can partner with local hospitals or health departments. It can offer diabetes education services led by a certified specialist at your place of worship. Contact your local health department, hospital, or chapter of the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists for more information.

How can I use New Beginnings as a business owner?

Unmanaged diabetes can have a huge effect on your most important resource: your employees. Investing in improved diabetes management can pay off in better productivity, less absenteeism, lower medical costs, and healthier retirees. Many businesses already have wellness coordinators or occupational health nurses who could lead discussion groups. Smaller businesses that may not have these personnel can consider leading these discussions as “brown bag” lunch sessions.

Can I use New Beginnings in adult enrichment courses at a community college?

Yes, all the New Beginnings materials are in the public domain, so you can use them without concern about copyright issues. You may add other materials or adapt these materials to your needs for an adult enrichment course.

I want to lead a group but don't know much about diabetes. Will New Beginnings give me facts I need to know?

No. The material in the New Beginnings discussion guide is focused on emotions and behavior. If you don't know much about diabetes, partner with a health care professional. This could be a diabetes care and education specialist or nurse who can provide diabetes-related information. They can answer any specific health questions participants may have.