Michael's story: Following through with self-care
The Back on Track Health program supports the people in our services to take charge of their own physical health needs by embedding discussion of physical health into all of Flourish Australia's services. Diabetes is one of the program's main targets as it is very common among people with mental health issues.
Spending five weeks in hospital, including 14 days in the intensive care unit, Michael endured a harrowing experience. He was admitted after suffering severe pain from pancreatitis. He also learned that he had diabetes.
Since recovering, Michael, who accesses Flourish Australia's Bathurst service, has been keen to get the message out to other people with mental health issues about the importance of being checked for diabetes.
Most people who have diabetes, like Michael, can take control of it by changing their diet and exercising. "I quit sugary drinks, I drink more water now," Michael explains. "With diabetes, you need to have regular blood tests. If you are on insulin, you also have to have eye tests once a year and regular full check-ups. The most important thing is diet. If I can keep control of that, I will keep control of diabetes."
Michael has used social media and his position as an alumnus of Flourish Australia's Community Advisory Council to spread the good news about controlling diabetes.