The Georgia Straight Covers My Campaign To Get BC Politicians To Re Open The BC Adult ADHD Clinic

Georgia Straight editor Charlie Smith did an great article about the 6 year campaign ( we adders can be very tenacious if we really want something)  I and others have been waging to try to  reopen the BC adult ADHD clinic by getting BC politicians to stop neglecting ADHD.

He also talks about then BC NDP Health critic and likely premier tonight Adrian Dix and the clinic.

During the may provincial election I asked BC political party leaders if they’d support reopening the BC adult ADHD clinic.

The BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix refused to support reopening the BC ADHD Clinic.

The BC Conservative Party leader John Cummins supports reopening the BC Adult ADHD clinic. So did several of their candidates

The leader of the Green Party of BC  Jane Sterk Supports re opening the BC Adult ADHD Clinic.  So did several of their candidates, included the first elected Green MLA Andrew Weaver.

Green Party Leader Jane Sterk 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.

6 Years ago in 2007, the BC Liberal government under then health minister George Abbott shut down the only provincial adult ADHD clinic in BC at Children’s Hospital in Vancouver after a 12-14 month long wait list for an entire year.

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.

In May 2011, I asked Christy Clark during her by election campaign at her town hall meeting if she would re open the BC adult ADHD clinic. She said

“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.”

And then Christy Clark did? Absolutely Nothing.

Charlie Smith writes

Vancouver physician Gabor Maté wrote a brilliant book about ADHD a few years ago called Scattered Minds: A New Look at the Origins and Healing Of Attention Deficit Disorder.

In it, he explained why this disorder is sometimes linked to addictive behaviour.

It sure is. Dr Gabor Mate spoke on ADHD and addictions at my Vancouver Adult ADD support group, standing room only, great talk

30% of Teenage Cannabis Users in Outpatient Study had ADHD

Study 20% of Alcoholics had ADHD

32% of teens meth users had ADHD. They began using between the ages of 10 and 15 reported doing so because of the calming effect that methamphetamine had on them.

21% To 45% 0f Prisoners Have ADHD 15 Peer Reviewed Studies Show. Only 5% of adults have ADHD Yet BC and Federal jails refuse to check prisoners for ADHD

Charlie highlights a big problem.

“Maybe I need to make a big donation to the BC NDP or the BC Liberals to get their attention, but I don’t have a big union or big business budget and can’t afford to hire expensive lobbyists to rent access to BC NDP or BC Liberal politicians,” he writes.

ADHD is so stigmatized that few go public and complain publicly so politicians and media can easily ignore us because few complain.

But they do complain privately. To ADHD coaches or adult ADHD support group leaders like me. And to others who work with ADHD like their doctors/psychiatrists/psychologists etc.

Other mental health organizations don’t lobby the government for changes for Adults and children with ADHD and there is no ADHD lobby group in BC.

See BC Psychiatrist Dr. Margaret Weiss’s Slides on the economic coast of ADHD.

See the BC Medical Associations policy paper on ADHD showing ADHD costs BC taxpayers billions of dollars a year and that largely because it’s neglected and not properly treated

ADHD can be a competitive edge if managed properly, 3 billionaires have gone public with having ADHD,  many entrepreneurs have ADHD.

Given the seriousness of the issue, it’s surprising that both major provincial parties would give Quily the runaround.

We could attribute it to the politicians’ ignorance. But it’s just as likely that Quily is right when he says that ADHD will only get noticed when people with the disorder start making large campaign contributions.

Does you know anyone willing to start doing that?




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