Adults with ADHD Abandoned As Clinic Closes Doors

Update: Clinic permanently closed. See this post as well as this one

Alternate title 1 Year Waiting list for an entire year embarrassing? Solution. Close the clinic.

Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group
Leader: Pete Quily (604) 263-6997


30 Jan 2007

Adults with ADHD Abandoned As Clinic Closes Doors

VANCOUVER, BC – Despite a year-long waiting list for an entire year, budgetary restraints have forced BC’s principal diagnostic and treatment centre to bar further referrals of adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, while they do a “review” of the program with no target completion date. The clinic, located at Children’s Hospital (CWH) had been accepting adult patients for only two years, during which time its adult caseload had grown to 50 percent of its patient total.

“Overwaitea’s recent pledge to raise $20 million for CWH is welcome news,” says Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group spokesman Pete Quily, “but it’s ironic the announcement came almost at the same time as the axe fell on the hospital’s adult ADHD facility.”

Quily says the effective closure of the adult clinic will leave hundreds, if not thousands of BC adults with untreated ADHD with few places to turn for help in what can become “ … a devastating illness.” He said untreated ADHD can and often does lead to “co-morbid” conditions, such as substance abuse (as a means of self-medication), depression and anxiety. Some develop anti-social behaviour.

“Adult ADHD is a condition that an estimated five per cent of North Americans have,” says Quily. “Unlike its better-known precursor – childhood ADHD – adult ADHD is widely unknown and largely ignored. With an already severe shortage of diagnostic and treatment facilities, closure of the CWH clinic will make it even more difficult for adults with ADHD to enjoy a normal, happy and productive life.”

According to Quily, adult ADHD is eminently treatable, through a combination of medication, coaching and/or counseling. “It’s unfortunate, however, that the main obstacle for adults is an accurate diagnosis,” he said. “It’s true that although some psychiatrists are trained to recognize and treat the condition in children, relatively few have expertise in diagnosing or treating Adult ADHD. This is also true of psychologists and primary care physicians. The loss of BC’s main diagnostic and treatment centre is a severe blow.”

It’s estimated that 60-80 percent of children and adolescents with ADHD continue with the condition into adulthood. Properly diagnosed and treated, however, Quily says the condition can often have a positive outcome. “With recognition and treatment, the restless energy that often accompanies the condition can be harnessed and turned to advantage. “He named JetBlue Airlines founder and billionaire David Neeleman – credited with the invention of electronic ticketing – as an example. “Two of several ADHD symptoms are restlessness and impulsivity,” he said. “Neeleman couldn’t bear standing in airport line-ups and set about developing a better way.”

He said the worldwide MENSA organization also has a special interest group of 471  686 adult ADHD members, which requires an IQ is in the top 2% of the population to join. The Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group is associated with the Vancouver chapter of CHADD – Children with ADHD

For Further Information and Interviews
Contact: Pete Quily – (604) 263-6997

This will be sent out to BC media outlets. Do you think it’s a good idea to shut down the province’s only public adult ADHD clinic especially when the demand is so high?

Hopefully people with ADHD and their families, friends and work colleagues will contact their MLA’s see the BC MLA finder and demand that the province either adequately fund the adult ADHD clinic at children’s hospital or create a separate adult ADHD clinic at another location since it seems like an adult clinic at a children’s hospital is politically vulnerable. You can contact your local media outlet or blog.
You can also contact the BC premier, Gordon Campbell ph 604 660-3202

Or George Abbott Minister of Health ph 1 877 771-7557

There also needs to be a campaign to educate the public and medical professionals who can accurately diagnose and treat adult ADHD in BC let alone the rest of the country. Even if you can get properly diagnosed at the clinic and started on ADHD medication they don’t do follow-up, they send you to your family doctor. I’ve heard far too many stories of ADDers complaining that they have to educate their doctors on ADHD meds, (since few were adequately taught about ADHD in University) which shouldn’t happen especially when there are great free resources like CADDRA’s ADHD Guidelines

If ADDers don’t demand services, no one will do it for us. Most other people don’t care and won’t get involved. Do you have any ideas on how to save the ONLY public ADHD clinic in BC? Are you willing to get involved in helping out? if so email me at pete AT

12 thoughts on “Adults with ADHD Abandoned As Clinic Closes Doors”

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  4. Thanks for the info. My cousin has real problems with ADD and will find this info very heplful.

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