Cross posted to BC ADHD.
I was very happy to watch the BC NDP’s Health Critic Judy Darcy’s @DarcyJudy her Facebook great speech on ADHD in the BC Legislature on the BC Leg live stream Tuesday October 23rd 2014. And tweet excerpts from it throughout the day. It was even more powerful when she mentioned her son had ADHD. Here’s some background on her from her BC Legislature bio.
In 2003, Judy was honoured with the Council of Canadians Activist of the Year award, “in recognition of outstanding leadership in forging coalitions for the public good on important social issues.”
Judy previously served as National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Canada’s largest union, and was for many years the only woman to lead a national union in Canada. She was also Secretary Business Manager of the Hospital Employees Union in B.C. for 6 years. In this role, she led negotiations to reach a historic settlement for health care workers after the Supreme Court found that Bill 29 violated Charter-protected rights to collective bargaining.
I’ve been trying to get BC NDP MLA’s to talk about the BC Adult ADHD Clinic since that BC Liberals health minister George Abbott killed after a year long wait list in 2007. As you can see I have mentioned the need to reopen the clinic a few times on my blog over the years.
Many medical professionals in BC tell me they got no training on ADHD. UBC medical school students only get one hour of training on ADHD. Totally inadequate.
For 7 years, I’ve been asking various BC NDP MLA’s online, on radio talk show call ins, and in person at debates many times to call for the BC Adult ADHD clinic to be opened. None have been willing to call to reopen it.
Including the then BC NDP health critic when it was killed, Adrian Dix. I tried for weeks to get his office to talk about it got promises & run arounds & eventually gave up. None have commented AFAIK on Adult ADHD.
The past leader of the BC Conservatives party John Cummins and some of his candidates have said they’d reopen the BC Adult ADHD Clinic. So has the leader of The BC Greens Jane Sterk who also called for there to be Adult ADHD clinic in all BC regions.
So while Judy Darcy & the BC NDP has not yet promised the would reopen the BC Adult ADHD Clinic or clinics throughout BC, this video is a great first step for the BC NDP because up until now no BC NDP MLA has talked about it or Adult ADHD in general AFAIK.
I briefed Judy on ADHD at her New Westminister office October 20th the first day of the third annual BC ADHD Awareness week. I was very pleasantly surprised she already knew a lot about ADHD including ADHD in adults.
I hope she can educate her BC NDP colleagues on ADHD and persuade them to call for reopening the BC Adult ADHD clinic and to call for the BC government to stop discriminating against students with ADHD in BC schools
Watch the video first, some things don’t come across as much on text as video.
Here is the Hansard transcript of her speech.
This month is ADHD Awareness Month, a time for all of us to pay attention to and support people living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. When most people hear “ADHD,” they think of a child acting out in a restaurant or disrupting a classroom. They believe that ADHD is about misbehaving, when, in fact, it’s a complex neurological condition. We think it affects mainly children, but 60 percent of kids with ADHD carry it with them into adulthood. That’s one in every 25 British Columbians.
ADHD affects our children’s educational achievements, yet it can take 18 months to get a diagnosis, and only half of ADHD kids ever get treatment. There are virtually no supports for adults with ADHD, and B.C.’s adult ADHD clinic closed seven years ago.
ADHD costs our criminal justice system tens of millions of dollars, and it has a huge impact on our health budget, especially when it goes untreated. As my son, who has ADHD, said, when I told him I was going to talk about ADHD in the House today: “Go for it, Mom, and tell them having ADHD isn’t much fun.” Now, there’s an understatement and an uncharacteristic one, I have to say, for my son.
Many people living with ADHD also live with severe anxiety disorder. Learning in a large classroom is very challenging for them. Many fall into substance abuse and self-medicate for their condition, and the stigma of having ADHD means they often don’t come out in the workplace to their employers or to their co-workers.
But people with ADHD are also smart, intense, hard-working, creative and funny, and they have an enormous amount to contribute to our community and our economy if they can find jobs they can excel in and get the supports that they need.
Today let’s all tell someone who has ADHD that we love and appreciate what they have to contribute, and let’s also tell them we’ll work with them to get the supports and the services that they need
I hope more BC MLA are willing to follow Judy Darcy’s leadership and talk about ADHD in a non stigmatizing way in the BC Legislature and outside, we really could use it. It’s very economically costly to ignore adults and children with ADHD even if you don’t care about us as human beings.