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
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
lack of resources especially for adults with ADHD
negative stereotypes of people with ADHD
common denominator in all these problems is awareness. 3-6%
of the population has ADD and 85% of adults don't know they
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.
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
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.
ADD Awareness Day
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
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
First ADD Awareness Day
want to have a Canadian Attention Deficit Disorder
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
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.
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
Ideas for Involvement
a preliminary list of ideas
a list of who to contact in municipal, provincial and federal
levels of Government and education.
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
- 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
- Ask your local library if you can set up a table to hand
- 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
- Place an announcement on your cable company’s free
- Ask the radio station to do a community service announcement
Day, or be a guest on a local radio program talking about
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.
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