Improving Diabetes Prevention and Management

Project Title

Improving the Assessment and Management of Diabetes for Adults with Serious Mental Illness

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Improving Diabetes Prevention and Management

Date Awarded

November 15, 2007







Individuals with serious mental illness are 2.3 times more likely to develop diabetes during their lifetime and 2.7 times more likely to die from diabetes-related complications. These physical and mental co-morbidities not only reduce quality of life, but are associated with high hospital admission rates. In 2008, NYHealth awarded Institute for Community Living (ICL) a grant to address poorly-controlled diabetes in those with serious mental illness by developing the Diabetes Co-Morbidity Initiative (DCI), a program to help behavioral health agencies staff provide diabetes care management to patients. NYHealth funded this project through its 2007 Setting the Standard: Advancing Best Practices in Diabetes Management request for proposals.

People with both serious mental illness and diabetes not only have reduced quality of life, but high hospital utilization and premature nursing home use. While the Chronic Care Model has proved effective for use in the general population, it has only been marginally applicable and beneficial for people with serious mental illnesses.

Working with six partner agencies—all mental health service providers—the Institute for Community Living, a multi-disciplinary behavioral health care network, will develop and implement the Diabetes Co-Morbidity Initiative. The Diabetes Co-Morbidity Initiative will use diabetes screening, assessment, education, prevention, self-management, and care coordination to existing behavioral health practice settings. The agencies will train between 140 and 200 case managers and social workers from their partner networks to provide appropriate services. Training will cover topics such as screening, supporting individuals with serious mental illness to receive recommended interventions, and coordinating care with medical providers.

The Institute for Community Living, Inc. was awarded an additional $9,915 on May 19, 2010 to assure project sustainability beyond the grant funding period.