Home » 2016 » We Need Public Adult And Children’s ADHD Clinics In Every Health Region In BC. What Do You Think?

We Need Public Adult And Children’s ADHD Clinics In Every Health Region In BC. What Do You Think?

Here’s an idea for your consideration. I’m an adult ADHD coach who has ADHD and runs the non-profit Vancouver Adult ADHD Support group and is on the board of CHADD Vancouver. Tell me what you think of these ideas in the comments at the end of this post.

We need to stop the discrimination and neglect of adults and children with ADHD in BC. While we have some excellent medical professional who learned about ADHD on their own time and dime, sadly there are too few medical professionals that are properly trained in diagnosing and treating ADHD in adults and children in BC.

So far too many Adults with ADHD and children and teens with ADHD cannot get a proper diagnosis and treatment for ADHD throughout BC.

The Canada Health Act’s 5 principles on Medicare include:

Universality – a guarantee that all residents in Canada must have access to public healthcare and insured services on uniform terms and conditions

Accessibility – insured persons must have reasonable and uniform access to insured health services, free of financial or other barriers.

BC is violating the Canada Health Act. Adults and children with ADHD in BC do not have universality or accessibility to properly trained medical professionals that can diagnose and treat ADHD. I have lost track of how many complaints I’ve heard that their medical professional was ignorant and or stigmatizing on ADHD.

BC adults and children in all areas of BC deserve to get access to properly trained medical professionals to give them a proper ADHD assessment of ADHD and treatment if diagnosed with it.

We need to demand that the BCLiberals or BCNDP (IF elected) create adult and children’s ADHD clinics at adult hospitals in every health authority in BC:

  • Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Fraser Health
  • Interior Health
  • Northern Health
  • Provincial Health Services Authority
  • Vancouver Island Health Authority
  • First Nations Health Authority

What do you think? Share your ideas in the comments.

There are enormous social and economic costs to neglecting ADHD.

20-30%+ of alcoholics and drug addicts have ADHD.

21-45% of prisoners in jail have ADHD 15 studies show. 5% of adults have ADHD.

Higher rates of dysthymia, depression, anxiety disorders and bipolar.

Higher rates of anorexia, bulimia and binge eating.

Higher rates of suicidal thinking, and suicide attempts, smoking, divorce, un and under-employment and being fired from jobs, of being on welfare, traffic tickets, car crashes, emergency room visits, high school dropouts, lower college entrance rates, higher rates of college dropout, teen pregnancies, fetal alcohol syndrome, narcotic syndrome, being in foster care, and decreased life expectancy.

See more on the social and economic costs of ADHD.

BC liberal health minister George Abbott shut down the only public adult ADHD clinic in all of BC in 2007, after it grew so popular it had a 14-month wait list.

The BC Adult ADHD clinic, located at Children’s Hospital had been accepting adult patients for only two years, during which time its adult caseload had grown to 50% of its patient total. They soon got a 14-month wait list. They asked the BC govt for more money to reduce the wait list, the government refused and they shut down the clinic.

Too few cases of ADHD are recognized … too few ADHD patients can be treated appropriately… Data from 2004- 2005, for example, indicated that of all ambulatory clinics, (BC Adult ADHD clinic) received the highest number of referrals (643), had the highest number of patients on the waitlist (78).

Doctors of BC ADHD policy paper from 2009. The recommended that funding for ADHD services should be increased to guarantee waitlists of less than three months for all ADHD patients.

See their 8 policy recommendations on ADHD here.

There are more adults with ADHD than children with it and ADHD is 80% genetic. If a child has ADHD the parents should be screened for ADHD.

What BC provincial political parties have said about reopening the BC Adult ADHD Clinic.


BC Premier Christy Clark promised me in may 2011 at her only town hall meeting “I’m Absolutely Committed To Working With You On It” Re: Opening BC Adult ADHD Clinic.

And she did? Nothing at all.

Go listen to CKNW’s audio of it her lying to me and BC voters during her campaign race here.

BC NDP MLA’s have repeatedly refused to call to reopen it over the years despite multiple requests in in-person town hall meetings, online and on talk radio.

But the past leader of BC Conservative John Cummins and other BCCP candidates last election committed to reopening the BC Adult ADHD clinic.

And the past leader of the BC conservative party, psychologist Jane Sterk called for adult ADHD clinics to be open in all areas of BC. She said

It’s completely congruent with our health care policy. Services should be available when people need them. The Green Party would support similar adult ADHD clinics in different parts of BC.

The current leader of the BC Greens, MLA Andrew Weaver during the election also committed to reopening the clinic and other BC Greens candidates did too.

The editor of the Georgia Straight, Charlie Smith, wrote an article on this campaign to reopen the BC Adult ADHD Clinic.

In BC many doctors, psychiatrists, and psychologists have little to no training on ADHD in adults and children.

UBC medical students get only one hour of training on ADHD in the entire program, grossly inadequate.

I have received thousands of emails over the years from people in the lower mainland asking where they could get an adult or a child diagnosed with ADHD by someone who actually knows it, since many have little to no training on it.

I have emailed out a list of people known to diagnose and treat ADHD in adults and children in the 3rd biggest city in Canada, Vancouver (and surrounding area) for more than a decade.

Some of those people have very long waiting lists and sometimes their lists are closed.

What needs to be done?

The closure of the BC Adult ADHD Clinic at Children’s Hospital and no other departments defended them and demand that it not be closed shows there is NO political support for ADHD adults at a children’s hospital in other departments.

So it’s important that Adult and children’s ADHD clinics in every health authority in BC be located in Adult Hospitals, where they are less likely to be shut with budget cuts and have no other department defend them because they don’t care about adults with ADHD. The BC Children’s ADHD clinic at Children’s Hospital is obvious an exception for the children’s clinic only, not an adult one.

There should be several psychiatrists and as well as psychologists, nurses, ADHD coaches etc at public Adult and children’s ADHD clinics. There should be multimodal treatment available for patients with ADHD, medication, behavioural treatments, and adult & parent ADHD support groups. Also ADHD parent training, for reduced divorce and better health, educational and occupational outcomes for ADHD children.

Also ADHD parent training, for reduced divorce and better health, educational and occupational outcomes for ADHD children.

It is important that part of the mandate of the BC public adult and children’s ADHD clinics be to educate other medical and mental health professionals, employers, unions and the public on ADHD.

It is also important that part of the mandate of the BC public Adult and children’s ADHD clinics to do research on ADHD specifically for how ADHD affects different groups of adults and children with ADHD throughout BC and what legislation and support BC government departments, municipal governments and other business and unions can provide to help improve the working, academic and personal lives of ADHD adults and children, not just do research for pharmaceutical companies, although that can be useful too.

What are your thoughts on this?

Contact your MLA

and let them know what you feel about this and what you want the government to do for ADHD adults & kids. If ADDers and their family members don’t, no one else will.

Also, let me know in the comments below this post, or email me at pete AT addcoach4u.com

6 thoughts on “We Need Public Adult And Children’s ADHD Clinics In Every Health Region In BC. What Do You Think?”

  1. A well researched and documented argument. Facts and logic should,but often do not, create public policy. To build support a team would need to make an action plan with concrete goals, broaden base, raise money. I think the needs of children and adults should both be under the same umbrella.

    What is working for other groups with children in BC- such as blind, handicapped, autism?
    Could a university student or program be used to create a workplan? Education, psychology, social work, public relations/media…..

    You have built a fairly large and grateful following over the years. They have to be motivated and mobilized to assist the next generations.

  2. Daniel Watson

    Absolutely! The ADHD idea is yet to be fully understood and even our education system has no idea how to work with it!

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  4. Thanks Hazel, I appreciate it. With other groups, there are more people willing to volunteer, raise funds, they have paid staff etc. I’d hope I see more willing to help with ADHD, but so far not the case. They want help for themselves or their families and have ideas but few wiling to do actual work.

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