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Creating a Canadian Attention Deficit Disorder Awareness Day. Feasability Project

 


Why Create a Canadian ADD Awareness Day?


America's First ADD Awareness Day

Canada's First ADD Awareness Day

Ideas for Involvement

Get Involved!

Why Create a Canadian ADD Awareness Day?


Three of the biggest problems Canadians with ADHD face are:

  • Other people around them who have either minimal or no knowledge of ADHD
  • A lack of resources especially for adults with ADHD
  • Misinformed negative stereotypes of people with ADHD

The common denominator in all these problems is awareness. 3-6% of the population has ADD and 85% of adults don't know they have it.

There is not enough awareness of ADHD in Canada, and the awareness that often exists is mainly negative and often even doubtful that Attention Deficit Disorder is a real condition. Some claim it's a conspiracy of the drug companies or blaming it on parents, sugar, TV, space aliens, etc.

To counter act these ignorant claims I've create a page on my website called Does ADD really exist? I give sample responses for those people and links to articles that give clinical evidence of ADD of a real condition. But that's not enough.

Too many people with Attention Deficit Disorder suffer from a lack of awareness. I'm tired of hearing stories of people telling their health care professional they think they might have ADD and being quickly dismissed (sometimes rudely) and finding out years later from someone that actually knows what ADHD is that they do have ADD. I'm tired of hearing people with ADD across Canada emailing me saying that they don't know where to go for to get diagnosed for ADD and obtain medical/therapeutic treatment.

There's too many adults with undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder that are suffering disproportionately higher rates of depression and anxiety because of a root cause of ADD (this is not to say that ADD is always the root cause) and much higher rates of substance abuse because they self medicate. Tobacco, alcohol and every illegal drug besides hallucinogens boosts the level of dopamine in your brain, the same neurotransmitter ADD stimulant medications boost. Not to mention higher rates of marital instability, and un or underemployment.

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America's First ADD Awareness Day

Last year the US Senate declared September 7th, 2004 as the first National Attention Deficit Disorder Awareness Day.

To read the actual Senate resolution in PDF format, click here.

ADDA
(Attention Deficit Disorder Association) and CHADD USA (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) were involved in making this happen. Other organizations involved were The National Mental Health Association; American Counseling Association; American Psychiatric Association; and The Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health.

It was sponsored by Senator Maria Cantwell, (D-Washington) and co-sponsored by Senator Richard Durbin (D-Illinois).


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Canada's First ADD Awareness Day

I want to have a Canadian Attention Deficit Disorder Awareness Day.

This page was created to start the ball rolling and to see if there enough people across the country who are willing to actually get involved either in their local area or on the provincial or national level or all three and make this happen.

I want it to coincide with the US ADD awareness day, which has been moved to September 20th.

Ideally, I would like to have ADD related events in every Canadian province to raise the level of awareness and understanding of Attention Deficit Disorder in children and adults, let people know their are screener tests for adult Attention Deficit Disorder and people who can diagnose and treat ADD. I also want people to know some of the advantages of ADD, that it is not just mere pathology. One of the reasons why some people with ADD don't seek treatment is that other people view ADD in a totally negative light, and this unfortunately occasionaly includes some people that treat ADD. ADD definitely can create some severe negative consequences in life, especially if it's untreated, but it can also can be create tremendous advantages.

Imagine an ADDer doing a job they love. How can you compete with some who has a fast mind, more energy than the next person, is able to hyperfocus on what they do and are extremely creative?

If enough people are willing to get involved, hopefully we'll have September 20, 2006 declared by parliament as the first National Attention Deficit Disorder Awareness Day.

I'd like to see ADD related events all over the country. Talks on ADD, workshops, public clinics for diagnosis

So I'd like people who are interested to get involved by emailing suggestions and people to contact and also saying what they are willing to do. Click here to help

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Ideas for Involvement

Here's a preliminary list of ideas

  • Create a list of who to contact in municipal, provincial and federal levels of Government and education.
  • Create a list of people to contact in medical associations, regional health and educational authorities, professional medical and coaching associations, support groups i.e. CHADD Canada, health and education related non profits related to ADD.
  • Plan some ways of publicising the day, and getting people related to the field of ADD involved.
  • Think of ways to persuade the above people to participate in helping to


    1. Create the ADD awareness day itself, i.e., lobby to pass the legislation creating a Canadian Attention Deficit Disorder Awareness Day.

    2. Put articles on ADD on their websites. Too often there's info on depression and anxiety but not ADD or if there is it's only on children with ADD, ignoring that adults have it too.

    3 . Create/sponsor/fund/publicise ADD related events for the day.

Think of events you might plan in your area, here are some ideas from ADDA's brochure:

  • Sponsor a workshop on AD/HD or have an inservice at your local school.
  • Ask your local library if you can set up a table to hand out information.
  • Participate in local health fairs where you can pass out AD/HD fact sheets.
  • Collaborate with other advocacy or educational groups in your area to sponsor
    an event to raise awareness about AD/HD in your community.
  • Try getting your local newspaper to write an article or op/ed piece about
    ADHD and/or Awareness Day.
  • Ask your Chamber of Commerce if your group can have 5-10 minutes at their
    next meeting to announce National AD/HD Awareness Day and hand out
    information.
  • Place an announcement on your cable company’s free community bulletin
    board.
  • Ask the radio station to do a community service announcement on Awareness
    Day, or be a guest on a local radio program talking about AD/HD.
    Write to AD/HD authors encouraging them to request book signings in their
    local area on AD/HD Awareness Day. Most Chapters, etc. will order books and
    let authors sign. They also put up signs announcing the event and some even
    advertise in their local papers and libraries.

 

GET INVOLVED!

This all won't happen if it's just one ADD coach in Vancouver doing all the work, especially since he has ADD:)

So if you want to make a difference for others out there with ADD and raise awareness of the condition and reduce stigma for others AND YOURSELF, email me with your ideas on what to do to create this event and more importantly what you might be willing to do in your city or province or on the national level.

I want to get an idea of how many people are actually willing to help make this dream a reality and what they're prepared to contribute i.e., organizing, promoting, researching, lobbying, fund raising etc. (don't send any money yet!) Click here to help.

 

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