FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE
Since 1995, thousands of peers – not clients – have joined our Adult ADHD Support Group. This year, we were compelled to do more and offer evidence-based peer support in behavioural health with free courses and meetings to enable our tribe further. These individuals are from various walks of life, the real Toronto, including entrepreneurs, professionals, community leaders, scientists, healthcare workers, and civil servants, to former inmates and homeless.
For whatever reason, the Adult ADHD medical model is exclusionary. General practitioners schedule full daily; they do not have the appropriate time to treat ADHD. The path to diagnosis and scarcity of accessible supports challenging to navigate in city centres, remote within commensurate population geography. Private diagnosis and treatment is not an option for hundreds of thousands of Canadians.
The severe lack of free and affordable ADHD supports undoubtedly contributing to the staggering socioeconomic cost of ADHD in Canada, estimated to run over $20 billion annually. Although, when ADHD addressed, the damage to the individual and society dramatically reduced. The combination of the appropriate medication with psychoeducation is proven to facilitate change. Nonetheless, the government and its agencies of health provide for minimal support. Sadly, countless peers have suffered, and many developed co-morbid symptoms and traits of anxiety and depression due to the systemic backlash facing Adult ADHD and the lack of affordable and free supports.
We endure as peers on the frontline who dare to believe that with a sense of knowledge and understanding of self, the inclination to focus the mind and practice will lead to an enriched life through activation of internal tools and resources. We go deep – the raw, depth in sharing, authenticity, and expression of feelings significantly benefiting individuals through community, compassion and connection decreasing anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation.
Where are the accessible, affordable and free supports? Is it possible to work together with government and medical professionals to provide equal access to all members of society? The bond of mutual reality will undoubtedly contribute to the betterment of the country.