BC Is The First Province In Canada To Declare ADHD Awareness Month. Thanks! National in USA For a Decade

I am very pleasantly surprised and very happy to announce that BC is the first province in Canada to proclaim October 2014 as ADHD Awareness Month.

The BC Lieutenant Governor’s office has emailed me the jpeg, a 10 mb jpeg for printing & mailed me a printed colour version. I’m embeding the first two. Please share widely, especially with your media friends.

Jpeg version for the web

Proclamation BC lieutenant governor declares October ADHD Awareness month 2014 first province in Canada to do so

For Printing 10 meg file

Proclamation BC lieutenant governor declares October ADHD Awareness month first province in Canada to do so

In the USA, ADHD Awareness has been declared at the national level for a decade since Senate resolution 370 Recognizing ADHD as a major public health concern and declaring September 7, 2004 National Attention Deficit Disorder Day.

A decade later, still no national declaration in  backwards about ADHD Canada.

Vancouver was the first city council in Canada to declare ADHD Awareness week in 2011. Airdrie Alberta declared ADHD Awareness week in 2013. North Vancouver City Council was the 3rd city in Canada to get involved and declared October 14-20th BC ADHD Awareness week. When will our eastern cousins join in:)

Thanks to the Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon for declaring ADHD Awareness Month in BC. Thanks to BC Liberals Health Minister Terry Lake https://twitter.com/TerryLakeMLA for proposing it. Thanks also to Heidi Bernhardt, President & Executive Director of CADDAC, Center for ADHD Awareness, Canada for asking them to do it.

I did not believe it until I phoned the BC Lieutenant Governor office. I would asked them to do so many years ago but I never thought they would. I’m very happy to be proven wrong:)

Unfortunately the proclamation is not online anywhere.  They finally posted it online here. I asked Health Minister Terry Lake’s office last week twice to announce it because in BC, we’re only doing BC ADHD Awareness Week, not a month and it ends today. So nothing online & month 3/4’s over.

Not sure why. Hopefully they will announce it. I phoned the BC Lieutenant Governor’s office and they send me the jpeg & PDF of the proclamation which I’m posting here. They also mailed me a colour print.

I also hope that the BC Liberals government will continue their leadership on ADHD and please reopen the BC Adult ADHD clinic that was closed in 2007 after a one year wait list in the Vancouver area and have adult and children’s ADHD clinics in each health authority since adults and children outside the Vancouver area deserve to get a proper diagnosis of ADHD and proper treatment too. They currently can no expect that because not enough medical professionals are trained on diagnosing and medically treating ADHD in adults and children.

I also hope the BCLiberals government will please end the discrimination against the biggest number of special needs students and the biggest number of mental health students in BC schools, students with ADHD see page 2. Since 8-10% of students have ADHD.

This declaration by the BCLiberals Government is very timely. We just had the recently announced public opinion survey results of 801 BCers on ADHD in BC by Mario Canseco of public opinion polling company Insights West, who was kind enough to do a pro bono poll for us for the third annual BC ADHD Awareness Week October 14-20th. I’ve helped to co write the questions.

We have 122 BC Libraries and bookstores in 68 BC communities doing ADHD book displays. See our map, and photos of the ADHD book displays.

Have a look at Mario’s column on it in the business section of The Vancouver Sun. “Stigma of ADHD still an issue for many. “Survey suggests many, especially men and older people, would not discuss an ADHD diagnosis with their employer” See Mario’s blog post on the Insights West blog.

Here’s the full survey results

Download (PDF, 50KB)

As far as I know this is the only comprehensive public opinion poll by a professional polling company on the general publics’s opinion on ADHD in BC and all of Canada. It’s a gold mine of information on what the general public think about ADHD, I’ve blogged it a bit here.

Here are some more interesting facts we’ve found out by the BC ADHD survey.

53% of BCers falsely thought ADHD was a behavioural disorder 20% not sure. ADHD is not a behavioural disorder, it’s a neurobiological condition. No wonder so many of us get stigmatized, most BCers don’t even know the most basic fact of what ADHD is.

40% of BCers don’t know inattentive ADHD exists. Many girls & women have inattentive ADHD and some boy and men. They are less likely to get diagnosed and treated if that many people don’t even know inattentive ADHD exists. It’s part of the 3 subtypes of ADHD it is NOT something new.

28% of BCers’d consider stimulant meds to manage it. 54% would consider ADHD coaching

A majority of BC’s workforce are afraid to come out of the ADHD closet to co-workers.

My chart on how likely the general public IF they were diagnosed with ADHD, would come out of the ADHD closet to different groups

Insights West BC ADHD Survey question. How comfortable would you feel telling each of the following people that you were diagnosed with ADHD? Family to Boss

Can you see the patterns?

And that’s just the general public’s answers. People who have ADHD and have been judged, shamed, blamed, stigmatized for years for it will certainly have much lower numbers than that.

If you doubt that read some of the answers of my survey question on the ADHD catch 22. What Would It Take To Go Public With ADHD?

41% of 18-34 year olds are not comfortable going out of the ADHD closet to co-workers.

50% of 35-54 year olds are not comfortable going out of the ADHD closet to co-workers.

52% of 55+ year olds are not comfortable going out of the ADHD closet to co-workers.

An even higher percentages of BCers are not comfortable coming out of the ADHD closet to their boss and this is a survey of the general BC public, not specifically ADHD adults whose numbers would be much higher.

50% of 18-34 year olds are not comfortable going out of the ADHD closet to their boss

57% of 35-54 are not comfortable going out of the ADHD closet to their boss

59% of 55+ year olds are not comfortable going out of the ADHD closet to their boss

How will you access services for ADHD at work via employee assistance programs if you feel it’s not safe to tell you co-workers or you boss?

Huge drop between people who would feel comfortable coming out of the ADHD closet to friends vs co-workers 26%.

This ignorance of ADHD is a big problem. We need a provincial government education and awareness campaign to raise awareness of ADHD facts in adults and children and to reduce the ignorance and stigma around ADHD, working in partnership with The Doctors of BC.

Please tell your friends and colleagues about this and thank BC Liberals Health Minister Terry Lake and Heidi Bernhardt of CADDAC for this.

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  1. Pingback: Third Annual BC ADHD Awareness Week 2014. Summary Of What We Accomplished - BC ADHD

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