The Understanding and Managing Adult ADHD Programme (UMAAP) receives major funding boost for continued success

Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler launched the Understanding and Managing ADHD in Adults Programme (UMAAP) in Buswells Hotel, Molesworth Street, Dublin on Wednesday 24th April.  This six-week workshop series will be run by ADHD Ireland and has been funded by the Department of Mental Health and Older People and the HSE.  UMAAP combines psycho education on adult ADHD with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).  This collaboration is between ADHD Ireland, University College Dublin’s (UCD) School of Psychology and the HSE National Clinical Programme for ADHD in Adults.

Since its inception in October 2022 as a pilot project for adults, the UMAAP Programme has garnered widespread acclaim for its effectiveness in providing support and resources for individuals with ADHD. The programme’s success is evident through its rapid uptake, with registration spaces consistently filling up within 24 to 48 hours of each new term opening. Positive word-of-mouth recommendations within ADHD support groups on social media platforms such as Facebook further underscore its impact.

Ronan Quinn (44) is a self-employed father and a recently self-diagnosed person with ADHD. The monthly support from UMAAP has been life changing for him in terms of his mental health. Ronan has returned to college to do a Masters and the support from UMAAP facilitates his studies by allowing him to learn coping mechanisms and real-life support tools which hampered his education as a child and young teen. Ronan shared at the launch “UMAAP has helped me to be more compassionate towards myself and to be less judgmental and critical about my past and some of my inherent traits.”

CEO of ADHD Ireland Ken Kilbride who opened the conference, thanked Minister Mary Butler and the HSE for their support and for providing funding which will ensure continuity of the UMAAP programme. “The results of the UMAAP initiative have been astounding, not only does the research back this up, hundreds of adults with ADHD have told me about the profound positive impact this has made in their lives. And it shows how a partnership between the charity sector, academia and the health sector can make lives better for people.” he said.

Minister Butler said at the launch “The commitment to addressing the needs of adults with ADHD is commendable and highlights the importance of accessible and comprehensive support services. The UMAAP Programme is a much needed resource for people with ADHD and their families. It is a fantastic development and I was pleased to prioritise funding for UMAAP from the additional allocation I secured for mental health services this year. The funding for the Programme has been increased and will be recurring, securing the future of this excellent programme.”

Dr. Margo Wrigley, consultant psychiatrist who currently works as the HSE’s Lead for the National Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Programme and is the clinical lead for the ADHD in Adults National Clinical Programme provided context for UMAAP.  Other speakers included   Professor Jessica Bramham, academic clinical neuropsychologist from UCD, PhD candidate Christina Seery and Dr Aisling Leonard-Curtin, registered counselling psychologist and founding director of ACT Now Ireland, the largest provider of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. 

The UMAAP official launch marks a significant milestone in the ongoing effort to support adults with ADHD in Ireland. It signifies a collective commitment to fostering understanding, empowerment, and resilience within the ADHD community.