OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE
ADHD is a common childhood problem that continues to affect the lives of countless youths, and into adulthood many will endure co-morbidities. The worldwide numbers – certainly over 100 million – vary due to regional historical, cultural and political factors, and underlying diagnostic criteria set upon behavioural and educational insufficiencies. Typically, ADHD represented as the means to categorise struggling, error-prone children and adults who fail to live up to their potential. Notwithstanding, when ADHD is addressed, the damage to the individual and society dramatically reduced.
Since 1995, thousands of people have joined the Toronto Adult ADHD Support Group seeking help to manage and overcome related challenges. These individuals are from various walks of life; composed of professionals – doctors, lawyers, scientists, teachers, realtors – entrepreneurs, community leaders, healthcare workers, civil servants, and students, to former addicts, inmates and homeless.
As peers with ADHD, we feel that unique individuals need to be considered valuable members of society, provided the flexibility and environment to determine capability, and the knowledge to succeed. The encouragement of spirit, creativity and resilience, and accountability to peers preferred over precise DSM-5 measures of behaviours inhibiting learning and development. Nonetheless, the promotion of a long-term treatment for a lifelong disorder clearly remain elusive; ADHD a substantial element for the current mental health crisis World Health Organisation indication of 450 million people worldwide.
The severe lack of accessible, free and affordable ADHD supports undoubtedly contributing to the staggering socioeconomic cost of unaddressed and misdiagnosed ADHD within Canada, estimated to run over $20 billion annually. A grossly unfair injustice that guides individuals and families unable to afford private clinicians to wait for support essential to achieving goals, and suffer at the back of the line.
In 2019, we were compelled to do more and give evidence-based courses focused on developing the behavioural health and wellness of the adult ADHD community. The peer-led, pathway to progress helps to create change by identifying where and how frame of mind gets in our way, one step at a time; Discussing and sharing naturally occurring harm and the specific modest actions and realistic, attainable goals to move towards that establish change. A dedicated and resolute action at the frontline of adult ADHD peer support. Daring to believe that with a considerate sense of awareness, understanding and increased self-esteem, the people will gain invaluable clarity and strength. The ensuing knowledge and experience will serve them well.
In 2020, the pandemic opened the doors to the international community equally in need of unprejudiced support. The bond of mutual reality undoubtedly contributing to the betterment of humanity. Our dream when all is said and done, for everyone to have an equal chance and live a happy life.