Frequently Asked Questions

New Beginnings: A Discussion Guide for Living Well With Diabetes

There are a lot of videos and booklets about diabetes. How are the New Beginnings materials different?

New Beginnings focuses on the often-overlooked side of managing diabetes: emotional and social support. By using a storytelling approach to open and guide discussions, New Beginnings connects emotionally with participants and can help them to think in new and different ways about how they manage diabetes. It brings together aspects of participant-centered design, mindfulness practices, and critical thinking skills to look at topics such as living well with diabetes, building self-confidence, and managing stress.

The stories are about African Americans, but the people in my group are not all African American. Do the stories and questions still apply?

Although the stories focus on African American characters, the issues and lessons learned apply to all people with diabetes and their families. It might be worthwhile for your group to talk about how some things in the stories might be different in their families, cultures, or community groups. You can also use stories that have characters who are like the people in your group.

I am a diabetes care and education specialist. How can I use this discussion guide?

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.

 I am a health minister. What does this discussion guide have to offer me?

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 to offer DSMES services led by a diabetes care and education specialist at your place of worship. Contact your local health department, hospital, or chapter of the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists or American Diabetes Association for more information.

I am a business owner. What does this discussion guide have to offer me?

Poorly managed 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 may have a few employees who would be willing to lead these discussions as “brown bag” lunch sessions.

 I work at a community college. Can we use this material in our adult enrichment courses?

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 I don’t know that much about diabetes. Will the discussion guide give me all the facts that I need to know about the disease?

No. The material in the discussion guide is focused on emotions and behavior. If you do not know much about diabetes, partner with a health care professional like a diabetes care and education specialist or nurse who can provide diabetes-related information and answer any specific medical questions participants may have.

Page last reviewed: May 18, 2022