The Living Well Programme: Developing self-management skills for adults with long term health conditions

HSE Media Statement: 20th October 2021

CHO Area 1 (Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo)

Living Well is a free programme for adults with long term health conditions such as diabetes, COPD, heart conditions, stroke, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, chronic pain, inflammatory bowel disease and many others.  It can also be a support to those living with COVID-19 symptoms extending beyond six months.

Living Well supports participants to develop vital self-management skills to enable them to live well with their conditions – skills such as:

  • Action planning
  • problem solving
  • decision making
  • communicating effectively
  • dealing with difficult emotions
  • managing medications
  • managing pain and fatigue
  • Getting better sleep
  • keeping active
  • eating healthily
  • working in partnership with healthcare professionals. 

The LW programme is free and available to people in counties Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo, thanks to Slaintecare funding.  During COVID-19 it is delivered online and participants are given support to enable this.

The programme involves attending one workshop every week for six weeks. Each workshop lasts two and half hours.

Living Well is a group programme, for up to 12 participants.  The programme is delivered by two trained facilitators, at least one of whom is themselves living with a long-term health condition.

People taking part in the workshops have a variety of different health conditions.  Participants can learn from each other’s experiences of living with long term health conditions, in a relaxed and friendly way.

Mary Shields, Living Well facilitator (and former participant) said: “The emotional support participants give each other is tangible and empowering, regardless of what their condition is. It is very rewarding, over the six weeks, to see participants grow in confidence and develop a sense of control over their health conditions and their lives.”

Since 2017 over 500 people in CHO Area1 have participated in the Living Well Programme, online or face to face.

Some recent feedback from participants in the online Programme since June 2020:

‘I feel more in control of my illness now, having learned a number of self-management skills. I initially thought that with everyone having different health issues might be a negative. However, I learned that we all had same concerns/worries’

“Thank you to the facilitators and the entire group for the help and support to me on the Living Well course. Without it I would still be sitting in my sitting room watching the world go by from my window and my health go further down.”

“The 6 week course was an enjoyable experience. I learned new self-care exercises, new nutritional advice and tips, and brainstorming thinking. All of this in a comfortable, stress-free 'zoom zone'. It gave me a new perspective on my own illness and a feeling that I'm not the only one. This for me was a big help in my confidence levels and less shame.”

“Living well opens new options, opportunities and facilitated increased self-worth, self-esteem across all areas of one’s life! Identifies that you’re not alone and there’s nothing you cannot achieve, you do it in a way that works with your long term illness.”

Next Programmes start dates:

Tuesday November 2 and Wednesday November 3

Run times: 10.30am to 1pm

To register:

Call: 087-3964307

(Note: The programme is self-referral.  Healthcare professionals are encouraged to signpost participants to it)

For more information visit:

www.hse.ie/livingwell

Last updated on: 20 / 10 / 2021