What is self-advocacy?

It is about people with diabetes speaking up for yourself. Self-advocacy is about asking for what you need and want, and trying to have as much input as possible in making your own life decisions. 

Why is self-advocacy important?

It provides an individual with diabetes an opportunity to speak up for themselves and others. By letting others know how they feel about issues that affect their lives, a self-advocate can educate the public as well help make changes to the way they are treated or how something is done. 

When is self-advocacy important?

  • You have been poorly treated
  • You need to correct misinformation or assumptions
  • You have a complaint
  • You want to be heard
  • You are being evaluated
  • You need something
  • You recognize something is not right

Where would I self-advocate? 

  • At your doctor’s office 
  • At work
  • In the hospital
  • At school
  • In public places

What are examples of self-advocacy?

  • Requesting regular breaks from you employer so you can manage your diabetes.
  • Meeting with your MLA to provide information about diabetes and its complications so her or she will understand the importance of government funding for medications and services.
  • Providing accurate information about diabetes to your colleagues to correct their misconceptions.
  • Discussing with your healthcare team your diabetes management needs prior to a hospital stay so your time in the hospital is less stressful and more comfortable.
  • Offering to participate on the social committee at work so you can help to plan for healthy food choices at company meetings and events. 
  • Asking questions about and understanding your medical care

What are Diabetes Canada’s advocacy position statements on the issues facing Canadians living with diabetes?

Most of Diabetes Canada’s position statements address the fact that many people with diabetes do not have access to required medication, treatment and services, at affordable prices and in reasonable periods of time, regardless of where they live in Canada.  The lives of all Canadians with diabetes will be dramatically improved when these issues are addressed.

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