An innovative new early intervention programme which will benefit hundreds of families affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) officially launched on Wednesday 17th May in County Meath. The award-winning Changing Lives Initiative programme is being rolled out in Counties Louth and Meath by Community Organisation Archways with thanks to funding from HSE Mental Health Services. The initiative is closely linked to a number of recommendations relating to ADHD support under Sharing the Vision, Ireland’s national mental health policy.
The Changing Lives Initiative is a community-based initiative, creating better awareness of ADHD and providing an early intervention programme for families. The programme is targeted at families with children aged 3-7 who are demonstrating behaviours consistent with ADHD but are oftentimes too young to receive formal diagnosis of ADHD. Potential families are identified through health, educational and community services, or can self-refer to the programme. As well as working with families the Changing Lives Initiative provides training on ADHD for those working with young children, in particular teachers and early years professionals.
The Changing Lives Initiative Programme was initially delivered and evaluated as part of a 3.5 year EU funded project which ended in 2021. The evaluations demonstrated the programme’s ability to significantly reduce ADHD-related behaviour in young children as well as other emotional and conduct problems. The programme is now set to benefit hundreds of families in Counties Louth and Meath, thanks to funding from the HSE.
Speaking at the Launch to mark the roll out of the Programme in Counties Louth and Meath, Jim Ryan, Head of Mental Health Operations, from the HSE said: “The Changing Lives Initiative is a hugely important programme for children and families who are impacted by ADHD. The initiative links with a number of recommendations in Ireland’s national mental health policy, Sharing the Vision, and provides evidence based early intervention in line with international best practice. This is another great example of the HSE working with service providers to bring about real change in people’s lives.”
Christina Riordan, Project Manager of the Initiative said “The Changing Lives Initiative was borne out of an identified need. Early intervention is essential for children experiencing behaviours consistent with ADHD. The programme provides an invaluable support at a crucial time. This programme will have a profound impact on families, in helping improve their quality of life and helping them support their children to reach their full potential. We are delighted to be able to provide the programme to families in Louth and Meath with thanks to the HSE funding.”
The Changing Lives Initiative programme is now available to families in Counties Louth and Meath. Further information on how families can avail of the programme is available at www.changinglivesinitiative.com