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A Diabetes Self-Management Program through the Cooper County University of Missouri Extension will begin Monday at California City Hall.

The free program is intended to help participants better manage type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. It will continue for six sessions, from 1-3:30 p.m. each Monday through March 16. The deadline for registration is tomorrow, Feb. 6. Those interested in attending should call 660-882-5661 or visit https://bit.ly/2u9TCih to register.

Robin Gammon, County Engagement Specialist in Nutrition and Health Education with the Cooper County University of Missouri Extension, said the program is a partnership with Central Missouri Regional Arthritis Centers, which allows for it to be offered for free.

Gammon said though the program might be a commitment, the amount of material covered during that time is often well worth it.

"We always feel like we run out of time," Gammon said. "It seems like a huge commitment, but we cover quite a bit of things."

Gammon said this includes symptoms, stress and emotional problems that may arise as a result of living with diabetes, along with healthy eating and meal planning. She said medication and working with healthcare providers are also topics that come up.

She said the program is more discussion-based, so as to avoid it just being participants listening to organizers talk.

"Because everyone's kind of in the same boat," Gammon said. "And they might be at different places along their journey, but a lot of times when people share how they deal with something, it can be really helpful for others."

Gammon said one of her favorite things about the class is the goal setting activities participants get to take part in. She said usually, participants will be encouraged to set a goal based on what they've talked about, and will then work on these plans actively in the week between meetings.

Gammon said this is a program the Extension tries to teach in counties around Mid-Missouri each year and had plans to bring to either Morgan or Moniteau County this year. Bringing it to Moniteau County was expedited when Rep. Sara Walsh encountered some data indicating the county may have a higher incidence of diabetes-related deaths in the state, and sent the data to people working with the Extension.

"That's what we always want to try to do, work with representatives or legislators to respond to those needs," Gammon said.

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