The Stanford Diabetes Coaches course is an innovative model of health education. We train high school students to coach their family members diagnosed with diabetes. Based on proven adult models, we developed a highly structured 8-week course to train adolescents who have diabetic family members to become diabetes self-management coaches.
The course focuses on communication skills and coaching skills with an emphasis on action planning and diabetes knowledge content including blood sugar monitoring, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, planning healthy meals, stress reduction, physical activity and working with your healthcare provider.
Although we hope the course will benefit the diabetic family members, our ultimate goal is to empower high school students with knowledge and skills to make healthy lifestyle choices. Students have had an overwhelmingly positive response to the course. One of our students, Roberto, faced many personal challenges during the diabetes class and initially was reluctant to even come to class. By the end of the course, however, he became one of the course's greatest promoters, encouraging classmates and friends to take the course.