Update March 25th 2013: Despite the Premiers Christy Clark’s promises, the BC Adult ADHD clinic is still closed.
I went to the town hall meeting that BC Liberal Premier and Point Grey riding by-election MLA candidate Christy Clark had last Friday at St. Mark’s Church in Kitsilano, Vancouver.
I asked Premier Christy Clark a question about re opening the BC adult ADHD clinic at an adult hospital that the BC Liberal govt closed down in 2007 after it had a 12-14 month wait list for an entire year.
8% of kids and 5% of adults have ADHD so there are more adults with ADHD than children, and most don’t know they have it and many doctors have NO training on ADHD. UBC medical students only get 1 hour of training on ADHD. I get emails DAILY asking for names of people who can diagnose ADHD in adults & kids.
I would like to see the BC adult ADHD clinic opened at an adult hospital vs BC Childrens hospital, for obvious reasons plus an Adult Attention Deficit Disorder clinic will be more politically vulnerable to cuts or closure at a Children’s hospital. See this PDF on the Economic Costs of Ignoring ADHD by Dr. Margaret Weiss of the BC Children’s ADHD clinic
I told Christy Clark that 21-45% of criminals in jail have ADHD 15 clinical studies show. The UK checks all prisoners for ADHD, but we don’t.
I mentioned 20-30% of drug addicts have ADHD, but think I forget to mention tobacco is the #1 drug people with ADHD self medicate with. I said that the BC Liberal govt shut down the BC adult ADHD clinic after a 1 year wait list of an entire year. I then asked if she would commit to re opening the BC adult ADHD clinic?
CKNW radio ran a 48 second clip on my question and Christy Clark’s response on the sat 11am news until the 3pm news including her saying the above quote I’m embedding the audio here, used with permission.
Audio of BC Premier Christy Clark answering my question on re opening the BC adult ADHD clinic on CKNW AM news may 11 2011
They also put a story on it on their website.
Calls for Clark to re-open ADHD clinic
“A B.C. group is lobbying new Premier Christy Clark to re-open a clinic that was closed by Gordon Campbell last year.
Pete Quily told Clark at a public meeting this weekend that more must be done to fight the devastating effects of ADHD.
“20-45% of prisoners have ADHD versus 5% of the population. The same thing with drugs… 20-30% of addicts have ADHD Would you commit to re-opening the B.C. ADHD clinic that your predecessor closed?”
The Premier told Quily she was not aware of the details of the program that diagnoses ADHD in adults.
She did not rule out the possibility of re-opening the clinic.
I didn’t capture all of her response but she did say
“I don’t have enough information about the specifics of the program that you’re talking about, but I’m absolutely committed to working with you on it.”
She then talked about having an IEP for every kid in school and more about kids and education not specifically ADHD. I then mentioned that in BC if your child has ADHD and doesn’t have a learning disability or severe behaviour problem they’re not entitled to any accommodations. They might get some; it’s totally at the whim of the teacher but no legislation requiring any.
Also On Sunday morning CBC Radio One News also covered it during their newscast one of the members of my Vancouver adult ADD support group told me. Nothing on their website though, but here’s the copy of the story.
A BC group that supports adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or, has hope that a clinic could be re-opened after a talk with the premier.
Peter Quily, with the Vancouver Adult ADHD support group, confronted Christy Clark at a public meeting and asked her to restore funding the Liberal government cut, forcing the clinic to close.
Quily says the impact of ADHD is devastating, noting 20 to 45 per cent of prisoners have the disorder.
He also told Clark that schools could do a lot more to diagnose the problem earlier, but only those with learning disabilities or behaviour problems are singled out for testing
While I’m glad CBC covered the story, for the record, I didn’t “confront” Christy, just asked her a question during Q and A session at microphones like others, and did so politely. They also misquoted the 2nd part of my piece. I said that in BC if your child has ADHD and doesn’t have a learning disability or severe behaviour problem they’re not entitled to any accommodations. They might get some; it’s totally at the whim of the teacher but no legislation requiring any.
Christy Clark mentioned publicly to another questioner that her family had problems with alcohol, that her Dad was an alcoholic. Good that she had the guts to say that, one reason why people don’t seek treatment is because the shame and stigma is so severe. Seemed half or more of the questions were about mental health or addictions.
Christy Clark said her #1 health priority was brain based disease (ie alzheimers) #2 mental health. “We have to do a lot more for that”. I agree. Re opening the BC adult ADHD clinic at an adult hospital and implementing the BC Medical Association’s 8 policy recommendations on ADHD in their white paper on ADHD would be a good start.
Here are my posts on the closure of the BC Adult ADHD clinic.
Let your MLA or opposition party candidate know about this, and ask them if they will support reopening the BC adult ADHD clinic at an adult hospital.
Tell they why they should do it. Use your/family members story or tell them about this PDF on the Economic Costs of Ignoring ADHD by Dr. Margaret Weiss of the BC Children’s ADHD clinic
Use the BC MLA finder to contact your MLA
Let Christy Clark know what you feel about this
Contact the NDP
Contact the BC Conservative Party