When we first launched this campaign in March 2017, there were no other campaigns like it existing in the UK.
In government, only a small handful of politicians (specifically: Jeremy Corbyn, Norman Lamb, Annette Brooke, Gregory Campbell, Martin Caton, David Simpson, Dr William McCrea and Margaret Ritchie) had mentioned ADHD, proposed a motion to support, or even voted on a motion in support of ADHD for over thirteen years.
Since we launched #AttentionUK in March 2017, the tide has shown signs of turning.
Organisations such as ADHD Action have backed our call for better ADHD services, and Jo Platt has committed herself to the new APPG on ADHD, for which we are deeply grateful.
The #ITakeMyPillsBecause hashtag, started by the wonderful Jessica of @howtoADHD, gained international traction in response to a damaging Netflix production which perpetuated stigma on medicating for ADHD. Jessica was already a great ADHD ambassador long before our campaign was founded, and if you’re not familiar with her already, we’d strongly recommend checking out her YouTube channel (@howtoADHD) for any and all of your ADHD-video related needs!
Additionally, Mr Daniel Johnson MSP has spoken out about ADHD stigmatisation in Parliament and on social media. The nature of politics makes it extremely unusual for any politician to share anything about their personal opinions or private life which could cause any possible risk to their reputation. Daniel Johnson, however, has not only been willing to risk media criticism by defending the use of medication for ADHD, but he has even made his own ADHD diagnosis and medication status public in a show of true solidarity with all adults with ADHD in the UK. His courage and determination is inspirational, and he is an ambassador to us all.
We have launched our own Media Guidelines to try and tackle the ongoing problems of misrepresentation and stigmatisation of ADHD in the media. The guidelines are shaped by other existing guidelines for other mental health conditions as well as the opinions of people with ADHD in the UK who we canvassed at the time of writing.
Despite all of these happy developments, there is still such a long way to go, and with every happy story comes another stigmatising headline or misrepresentative media portrayal. So far we haven’t actually seen any real change, or even any commitment to change, from our government. We need to keep fighting.