LifeMatters SV

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The World Health Organisation defines health as ‘a state of complete physical, social and mental wellbeing’. Good health provides for a quality of life marked by spiritual serenity, zestful activity, a sense of competence and psychological wellbeing (Sahlar & Carr, 2007). Health is therefore not merely the absence of disease or disability, but rather a resource that underpins quality of life.

Life skills are defined as ‘abilities that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life’. We believe that older adults who learn better life skills will be better able to manage their health and wellbeing as a result. The purpose of our project is to see if this is indeed the case, by testing if participation in a life skills programme called LifeMatters-SV ( seniors version) will improve wellbeing and quality of life measures and biological / health levels in older adults.


LifeMatters UNI-V was philanthropically funded for €320,000. We are seeking funding to develop the Seniors Version of the Programme.


Dr Margaret O’Rourke. email:


Current Status

LifeMatters is a positive psychology, cognitive behavioral coaching programme that focuses on providing older adults with tools for self care, wellbeing and emotional health. LifeMatters SV is based on the successful and validated LifeMatters UNI-V programme which has been delivered to over 1000 students (undergraduate, postgraduate and mature across courses in University College Cork). Research findings both qualitative and quantitative in 884 students have confirmed the efficacy of the intervention 3 studies including randomized controlled trial. LifeMatters was originally developed and used as a mental health users and carers self-help tool in the National Health Service in the UK.

Future Plans

LifeMatters SV requires partners to build capacity, design IT and enhance scalability of the programme for older adults across regions and multinational levels.