The Diabetes and Mental Health (DMH) Initiative is a novel project that aims to better understand the mental health needs and care experiences of people living with diabetes. This initiative is led by Dr. Mezuk and is supported by the UM Caswell Diabetes Institute. Overall, the DMH Initiative aims to contribute interdisciplinary, integrative research on the complex ways that mental health intersects with diabetes risk, self-management, and prognosis across the lifespan.

Specifically, the DMH Initiative will get a better picture of the mental health needs and experiences of people with diabetes by (1) utilizing partnerships with Michigan Medicine programs, community organizations, and online/web-based programs to aggregate, visualize, the identify components of existing programs for supporting mental health of persons with diabetes and (2) conducting a needs-assessment of psychosocial characteristics and barriers/facilitators to accessing mental health care among patients with diabetes (including pre-diabetes, gestational diabetes, type 1 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes) treated at Michigan Medicine. The latter will include an initial quantitative survey, followed by targeted patient focus groups and key informant interviews with Michigan Medicine providers.

The DMH Initiative will build off the work of two international studies of diabetes and mental/behavioral health, the International Prevalence and Treatment of Diabetes and Depression (INTERPRET–DD) Study and the Diabetes Attitudes, Wishes, and Needs (DAWN) Study. The end goal of this initiative is to provide leadership from Michigan Medicine with action-oriented steps to improving the mental health care of folks with diabetes that is informed by patient and provider experiences.