Talking about Diabetes: Language Matters

Diabetes is a complex condition affecting approx. 300,000 people in Ireland. No one causes their diabetes, yet people living with diabetes often encounter stigma, discrimination, and stereotypes. There is plenty of evidence to suggest we can improve our messaging, body language, and spoken word to be more supportive of the person living with diabetes.


In early 2023, the Diabetes Language Matters Ireland Working Group came together to develop an Irish version of a Diabetes Language Matters guide. This group consists of people with lived experience of diabetes, academics, and healthcare professionals. The Diabetes Language Matters movement supports better communication with and about those living with diabetes. It is not a new concept; it started in Australia in 2011, and since then, many countries have followed suit with their own versions of guides and position statements.


This short Irish Language Matters guide aims to raise awareness of how improving communication with and about people with diabetes can make a difference in supporting people living with the condition.  It was developed to support people working in the media as well as the general public in Ireland.




So, how we speak and write about diabetes matters!



To access and download this free guide, click here.


Susie Birney – PLwD, ICPO, Cathy Breen – HSE National Clinical Programme for Diabetes, Ann-Marie Creaven – University of Limerick, Sonya Deschênes – University College Dublin, Gráinne Flynn – PLwD, Thriveabetes, Tomás Griffin – University of Galway and Galway University Hospitals, Cameron Keighron – PLwD, University of Galway, Joanne Lowe – HSE National Clinical Programme for Diabetes, Michelle Lowry – PLwD, Occupational Therapist, Amy McInerney – University College Dublin, Eimear Morrisey – University of Galway, Sinéad Powell – Diabetes Ireland.