Despite being a common mental health disorder affecting approximately 1 in 20 children and adolescents,1 the general public does not always appreciate the effect that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can have on a person’s everyday life.1
This lack of awareness can influence public opinion, and in some cases, the way policy makers choose to address ADHD.
In Europe, in order to tackle this issue and ensure that people with ADHD get the support that they need to fulfil their potential, Shire has initiated, developed and funded the ADHD Alliance for Change.
Driven by a Steering Committee of independent European experts in ADHD, who are working with a number of ADHD patient groups across Europe, the Alliance aims to unite people affected by ADHD—people living with the condition, their family and friends, teachers and doctors, among others—to share their stories and experiences. By speaking with one voice, the Alliance for Change will make public the personal experiences of living with the condition and highlight what needs to change.
People affected by ADHD can add their voice to the campaign by visiting the ADHD Alliance for Change website and sharing their own story. They can say anything about their experience of ADHD: no story is too small.
All stories will contribute to the Real Voices Report, bringing to life the challenges faced by people living with ADHD. The Steering Committee will review each story to gain insight into the issues faced by people living with ADHD and provide specific recommendations for European and national policy makers on what needs to change, ensuring people living with ADHD receive the support that they need and deserve. The report will be presented to European policy makers in Brussels during European ADHD Awareness Week 2014.
The campaign is not limited to people living with ADHD. Anyone can get involved by asking the European Parliament to take action by signing the Pledge for Change:
I want to add my voice to the ADHD Alliance for Change campaign. By raising awareness about ADHD in this way, we can change attitudes and policies to support people with ADHD to fulfil their potential.
The Pledge, along with all of the signatures collected, will be presented to the European Parliament along with the Real Voices Report. “We are really pleased with the response to the campaign so far,” says Eugene Osei-Bonsu of the Neuroscience Business Unit. “In just two months, we’ve collected over 570 pledges and 30 stories from 20 countries across Europe. However, we still have a long way to go to reach our goal. I would encourage everyone with an interest in ADHD to visit the campaign website and show their support.”
Kate Carr-Fanning, a member of the Expert Steering Committee and vice chairperson of HADD-Ireland, explained why she supports the campaign and why others should get involved:
“As someone who lives with ADHD and works with others with the condition, I know how vital it is that we come together to dispel the myths and misunderstanding about ADHD. We can do this by uniting the voices of all those affected, that includes parents, other family members, teachers, healthcare professionals, and anyone else who comes into contact with people with ADHD. Lend your support and join your voice with ours.”
Anyone wishing to add their voice to the campaign can visit the ADHD Alliance for Change website Click for link here: www.adhdallianceforchange.eu or email the Campaign Secretariat on firstname.lastname@example.org.