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ADHD World Awareness Day
In the light of public insistence, FEAADAH, the Spanish federation of ADHD associations, took the step in 2012 to formally request from the World Health Organization (WHO) the declaration of an annual ADHD World Awareness Day.
To achieve this, they initiated our official petition with campaigns for support from professionals and institutions whose signatures declare their ongoing support for the application made to the World Health Organization to be granted.
FEAADAH urges all those who feel so committed, especially those working in education, health, and social and legislative areas to express their support for the application for an AHDH World Awareness Day by signing the ADHD Manifesto Europe.
All information on this manifesto can be read on:
Everybody is invited to sign: please fill in following form:
Professionals are invited to fill in following form:
The EU has been urged to make "the invisible, visible" and increase public awareness of ADHD.
President of the European brain council Mary Baker told, "A lot of people do not believe in [ADHD's] existence. So therefore, if it does not exist, then people do not understand that there is treatment for it. We need to make this illness visible to society."
Baker, also a consultant to the World Health Organisation and chair of their working group on Parkinson's disease, was speaking at the launch on Tuesday of an expert white paper on ADHD.
The white paper aims to provide policy solutions to address the societal impact, costs and long-term outcomes in support of individuals affected by ADHD.
She added, "There is a lot of support that can be given to children living with this disorder, if people start to work together."
If ADHD is recognised early and treated appropriately, the child "will get a better education, a better chance in the workplace, a better chance at family relationships and making relationships of their own", said Baker. "It's an illness which requires good investment and I think teachers, psychologists, criminal justice, all need to come together and help society face up to a challenge that could be considerably better managed."
Baker added that it is "very difficult" for older people diagnosed with ADHD "because, like anything in life, to be diagnosed with [an illness] later is always hard".
She also warned that it is often something quite major in an adult's behaviour that signals the need for help, from driving offences to criminal activity, "So an early diagnosis to make an invisible illness visible is the way to go."
The term 'invisible disability' is often used to describe ADHD because of the lack of knowledge and widespread social stigma surrounding the condition. Among mental health disorders, ADHD is one of the most neglected and misunderstood in Europe, according to the white paper. ADHD affects approximately one in 20 children and adolescents across Europe, with many cases persisting into adulthood, the report says. And currently, due to untreated or inappropriately treated ADHD, the disorder is creating an excessive burden and expense to society.
Co-chair of the European parliament's interest group on mental health, wellbeing and brain disorders, Nessa Childers explained that work on improving the situation for ADHD sufferers must begin at national level. "We all have to go back to our member states and publicise this situation," she told this website. The Irish MEP added, "As a clinician, I have seen adults who were not diagnosed with ADHD as children and the kind of damage that was done to them. I think advocacy and education is the way [to combat this]." Childers went on to highlight how mental health problems such as ADHD are becoming far less of a priority on the political agenda, particularly due to the current economic crisis, which has resulted in widespread cutbacks in resources. "ADHD is one of the most neglected and misunderstood psychiatric conditions in Europe," she warned.
The S&D deputy said, "At member state level we must begin to share research and information. Some member states have very sophisticated support mechanisms for ADHD. "It would be a good idea if we looked at that and began to reproduce them in all member states because, quite frankly, it doesn't take a lot, only a small amount of investment is needed to make a big difference to individual children, to school teachers and to parents."
Video of the interview with Mary Baker and Nessa Childers on ADHD - click here.

For the expert White Paper on ADHD (some member organisations of ADHD-Europe contributed too): click here
Personal opinions/testimonies from people with ADHD

Please read the first personal opinion of this young writer:

Dolphin Assisted Therapy  is not good for children or dolphins

I have a diagnosis of ADHD and ASD. Last year a charity sent me and some others from my school to go to SeaWorld in the USA  and Swim with Dolphins. It was good of the charity and I enjoyed it at the time. Through I didn’t behave well, I’m sorry for that. I didn’t kiss the dolphins, I don’t know why. They told my mum I was the only one who would not kiss the dolphin.
Then I saw ‘The Cove’.  It’s a film about some protestors, heroes really, who film the killing of Dolphins at Taiji Cove in Japan. They say that it is selling some dolphins for therapy and entertainment that makes catching the dolphins profitable. Ric O’Barry started it all, because he trained the dolphins for Flipper, the TV series.  Afterwards he knew that was wrong. He must feel awful, if I were him I’d just kill myself, but now he fights to free dolphins.
If they told the child the truth, if they told him the truth when he swam with dolphins, he wouldn’t want to do it, if he was truly passionate like me, he would protest, he would fight. I feel like dolphins were being enslaved really. I am so angry at myself because I should have known better, that imprisoning dolphins was wrong. I feel like a man should have more passion, should care for others around him and others is animals too.
If dolphins were in our position using us for their entertainment, imprison us, and using us it would be much different. 
I have this fantasy, a  silly fantasy really, that scientists could do something to help the dolphins like  give them metal teeth so they can break free or learn to communicate with them so they know not to go to the Cove.
The end of the film will not leave my head;  the blood lapping in the sea and the dolphins screams. I hope they can forgive us.

CAB, aged 16, UK

Some links

- More about ‘The Cove’ here.

A review of relevant research finds no evidence for any more than a fleeting improvement in mood , but danger of injury and infection  for dolphins. Sea world rejects condemnation by the Cove.


Sea World claims they have not brought any dolphins from Taiji Cove since the eighties. But industry associations do not ask members outside the US not to do so.

Feel passionately about your ADHD experience? Let us know what you think: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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