We want our leaders to pledge to ensure that by the year 2021, anyone in the UK who has ADHD can have timely access to quality treatment and support.
Achieving equality for people with ADHD in UK will take decades. The first step to achieving it, however, starts with beating the stigma around ADHD, and that’s something that we can begin to do now. #AttentionUK is campaigning for formal recognition from the elected government about the scale of this problem, to be followed by their pledge that by 2021, every person with ADHD in the UK will be able to access the treatment and support that the National Guidelines for this condition recommend, and which commissioners have a legal requirement to follow.
The first step is to raise awareness of ADHD as a legitimate mental health disorder – because the stigma against it is still so entrenched that it’s even being perpetuated by the national campaign to end mental health stigma and the nation’s leading mental health charity. Refusing to recognise ADHD as a mental health disorder, whatever the reasoning behind it (the excuse is generally that ‘more specialised support is available elsewhere’, which isn’t the case for adults, by the way), comes across as an endorsement of the prejudice and stigma that these organisations exist to combat. So far whenever this has been raised with the organisations, whether it be from service users, employees or other service providers, it has been brushed under the carpet.
Our voices are being ignored, and that’s why we need the pressure of the wider general public to help us fight our corner.
There should be an ADHD service in every community, so we should be asking our MPs for an explanation if there isn’t.
We need to lobby our MPs, commissioners and policymakers for a well managed and representative All Party Parliamentry Group (APPG) on ADHD, so it gets talked about at a governmental level.
There is an existing APPG on mental health, the minutes of which have never once included any mention of ADHD. There are also individual APPGs on Autism, one on Mindfulness, one on Pigeon Racing, even one on Wood Panelling. There isn’t one for ADHD. Whatever is discussed in the APPG on Wood Panelling gets more of a platform at a government level than ADHD does.
Has anyone in government done anything for people with ADHD before?
We would like recognise the efforts of Jeremy Corbyn, Norman Lamb, Annette Brooke, Gregory Campbell, Martin Caton, David Simpson, Dr William McCrea and Margaret Ritchie, who have spoken (at least once), proposed a motion (at least once) or voted on a motion (twice) in favour of people with ADHD between 2004 and 2017. Thank you.
These are the only MPs who have been recorded saying anything supportive, or voting in favour, of the needs of people with ADHD in the entirety of those 13 years.