June 24, 2024

ADHD Adult’s Support Group

We opened our ADHD support group service in 2013 to support children, young people and families that are affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Since then, we have grown tremendously. We are the only ADHD Learning Centre in Scotland, and the only organisation dedicated solely to supporting those affected by the condition.

Last year we celebrated our 10th year as a charity and have been successfully running our youth group and monthly parent support during that time, whilst completing two rounds of research into the unmet needs of ADHD. Over the last few years, after further consultation with the local ADHD community, CAMHS, Education and third sector organisations we knew we needed to do more and provide a fully holistic approach and we embarked on an Adult’s Support Group.

The aim of this project is to support adults that are affected by ADHD through peer support and coaching.

Adults with ADHD or suspected ADHD will feel less isolated, and we can support them to have a better understanding of themselves.

We will see improved mental health, participants will feel happier, empowered and part of a community.

We ran 20 peer/support group meetings for adults across the funding period. Our Angus Adult ADHD support group started at Gayfield stadium in Arbroath and took place on the first Tuesday of every month. There was a slight delay getting started as we were trying to find a suitable space within our budget. We invited leading specialist Bernadette Ashton to open our first adult support group session alongside our certified ADHD coach and CEO Coach Alison Clink.

Dundee Adult Support Group met the first Thursday of every month in our Learning Centre, in Dundee with around 15 adults regularly attending.  A wide range of topics was provided including sustaining employment, understanding ADHD, how ADHD affects behaviour, mood and family interactions and positive management strategies.

Bill Colley, a leading educational consultant, led one of our adult support group sessions in Dundee; he discussed ‘What is ADHD’ and helped offer a better understanding of the condition in adulthood along with strategies for day-to-day living.

We also had Alan P Brown, ADHD & Productivity Coach provide a zoom session in June, where he shared 10 small and easy things that get big results. Feedback from this session was positive with attendees telling us that this was so simple but not easy to forget, and very useful in the heat of the moment when they were struggling.

We held a big 10th year Anniversary event on 16th October 2023. We invited guest speakers who are experts in their field on ADHD from around Europe and they covered a wide variety of topics on Children and Adults. (Poster attached.)

Our monthly support groups were regularly attended with an average of 70 attendees. Our mailing list for the Adult Support Group is now at 103 individuals.

We have created a strong ADHD community with people travelling from Tayside and beyond to Angus or Dundee to access our Support Groups.

Participants have told us it has felt comforting finally having an organisation to support them that understands the condition and its challenges. They previously felt lonely and isolated and left with many unanswered questions – sometimes questioning their own sanity whilst they waited for help. Most of the participants that came to us were regularly contacting NHS asking for support. Having our support has made them feel less anxious and provided an opportunity to connect with others in a similar situation.

We have raised awareness of ADHD management in over 100 adults affected by the condition.

Reduced social isolation and loneliness for adults suffering from ADHD.

Increased confidence of participants.

Feedback from the participants:

Participants have told us they feel less anxious and worried and feel stronger to advocate for themselves. “I have a better understanding of the Access to Work and what it can do for me.” Another said, “I have learnt of some alternatives I can use to manage myself especially when I couldn’t access my prescription due to the shortage. This group has been a life-saver”

They feel like they have a strong support network. “It’s nice to come here once a month interact with people who understand what I am going through.”

The Next Steps

Our CEO is qualified as an ADHD Coach which will generate an income to support the organisation. This is in the early stages and has already provided over £1000 over a period of 3 months. We offer various packages and payment plans to support service users and are confident this can support us with sustainability. For instance, we are looking into Access-to-Work sessions where people can apply for support which includes 26 weeks of coaching.Our Adult Support Groups are entirely participant-led, and we take notes to monitor the discussions that take place. Most talked about the length of time it takes to get a diagnosis or, that once their referral goes in, they do not receive any feedback or updates whilst they are waiting. They also tell us about the lack of clear guidance offering additional support and signposting. We are including this feedback in developing a programme that meets the specific needs of adults affected by ADHD which will help us enhance our intervention.

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