AIMS: To examine the prevalence and correlates of suicidal ideation in a community-based sample of adults with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. METHODS: Participants were 3338 adults aged 18-70 years with Type 1 diabetes (n=1376) or Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin: n=1238; insulin: n=724) from a national survey administered to a random sample registered with the National Diabetes Services Scheme. Depression and suicidal ideation were assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire, and diabetes-specific distress with the Problem Areas In Diabetes scale. Separate logistic regression analyses by diabetes type/treatment were used to determine relative contribution to suicidal ideation. RESULTS: Overall, we observed a suicidal ideation rate of 14% in our sample. Participants with Type 2 diabetes using insulin reported more frequent depressive symptoms, and were more likely to report recent suicidal ideation (19%) compared with those with either Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes not using insulin (14 and 12%, respectively). After controlling for depression, there was little difference in the prevalence of suicidal ideation between diabetes types/treatments, but higher diabetes-specific distress significantly increased the odds of suicidal ideation. CONCLUSIONS: As suicidal ideation is a significant risk factor for a suicide attempt, the findings have implications for healthcare professionals, pointing to the importance of adequate screening and action plans for appropriate follow-up of those reporting depression. Our findings are also indicative of the psychological toll of diabetes more generally, and the need to integrate physical and mental healthcare for people with diabetes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.