A non-profit organization has launched a nation-wide advocacy initiative that will help college students tackle diabetes-related physical and mental health issues.

College Diabetes Network (CDN), through its first-of-its-kind CDN REACH initiative, will collaborate with campus professionals to help students who have diabetes and other life-altering chronic and invisible diseases.

A recent study conducted by Ohio University researchers has found that 30 percent of those with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) reported high levels of diabetes distress and exhibited a lower diabetes quality of life.

Diabetes distress is a condition of feeling worried and frustrated about living with diabetes that is associated with fewer self-care behaviors. About 19 percent of these students also screened positive for severe depression.

Through the multi-year initiative and in coordination with other organizations, CDN will develop resources specifically designed for campus professionals, collaborate on university-specific initiatives and programs, communicate best practice guidelines and standard protocols and build consensus to better support student health and well-being.

“CDN is building on 10 years of experience equipping students and young adults with crucial peer support and resources,” said Christina Roth, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of CDN.

“We are now taking the lead to help campus professionals address the persistent barriers these students continue to face to reduce the risks to student health and to the institutions themselves.”

CDN has also released new campus guides on student health services, disability services and student counseling services.

Organizations that are part of the coalition are American Diabetes Association (ADA), American College Health Association (ACHA), Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), Children with Diabetes (CWD) and others.

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