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April 28th 2005

Press Release UK

International Call to Action for Improved ADHD Care Launched

I would ask if possible for all people to go to sign this pledge as it will really help move things along - Ed

The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) today kicked off an international campaign to improve the diagnosis and treatment of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The cornerstone of the initiative is a pledge campaign to bring parents and physicians together in a unified approach toward treating this often serious disorder.

"We ask all parents and physicians who are concerned about the potentially serious consequences of ADHD, for both children and their families, to make a pledge. Each of us can take a personal small step, and by working together we can make a huge difference to improve the lives of families living with this disorder," urged Preston J. Garrison, Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer, World Federation for Mental Health.

WFMH is launching the pledge initiative while releasing the results of an international survey of parents of children with ADHD to encourage physicians, educators, the media and parent support organizations to work together to ensure the necessary assistance is in place for children with ADHD and their families.

The cornerstone of the pledge initiative is the development of statements that offer some simple actions that parents can take while working together with their child's physician to address some of the unmet needs of ADHD diagnosis and treatment, as identified in the parent survey. Specifically, parents participating in the initiative are asked to consider the following pledges:

- I will learn all I can about ADHD to support my child and our entire family.

- I will meet regularly with my child's physician and teachers to make certain my child receives comprehensive treatment to help manage his or her ADHD symptoms - both at home and at school.

- I recognize that there are places where I can go to, such as parent and patient groups, for the support and help that I need.

- I will seek to become an advocate for my child, and for other families with children diagnosed with ADHD

This initiative has been launched to coincide with the publication of the 'Without Boundaries - Challenges and Hopes for Living with ADHD' report, the result of a 938-person survey conducted in Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Spain, UK and USA. This survey of parents of children with ADHD captures a high-level view of the impact of the disorder as well as the positive effects of diagnosis and treatment internationally. The responses from parents surveyed demonstrate that, despite differences in diagnosis and treatment, the impact of ADHD on both children and their families is remarkably similar.

The survey findings revealed that, on average, children with ADHD must wait two years for diagnosis with significant discrepancies between the countries surveyed. The impact that ADHD can have on a child's family is profound, with 88% of parents internationally reporting that they were stressed or worried about their child's ADHD. The survey also highlighted that problems for children with ADHD extend beyond academic performance, with 57% of parents reporting that their child had been excluded from activities with peers. Two-thirds (69%) of parents surveyed also recognised the symptoms in themselves. Research has shown that ADHD is a highly hereditary disorder.1

Professor Russell Barkley, Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina, US, who has been closely involved in the development of the Without Boundaries report, commented:

"ADHD can have a pervasive, adverse impact on major life activities, affecting every facet of a child's life at home, at school and at play. If not diagnosed and treated effectively, it can limit an individual's potential into adulthood. Parents need resources and guidance to empower them to seek the appropriate help to manage their child's disorder, and physicians need the training and resources to be able to do this."

Research has shown that the prevalence of ADHD is consistent across countries, affecting 3-7% of school-aged children.1,2 The disorder is characterised by hyperactive or impulsive behaviours and problems with attention that are not in keeping with the child's intellectual ability or stage of development.1 If not diagnosed and treated at an early stage, ADHD can have a significant impact on adult life. According to recent research, individuals with ADHD are more likely to hold less skilled jobs, with 75 - 95% never completing college. Thirty-eight percent of adolescents with ADHD are involved in teen pregnancy, and evidence shows that people with ADHD are also involved in 3-4 times more car crashes than those who do not have the disorder.3 Social exclusion and difficult family interactions in childhood may also have a long-term impact on an individual's self-esteem.

Details of the pledge initiative and copies of the full report are available on the WFMH website at Results of the initiative will be released later this year.

- Ends -

For the full Report Click Here

For the International Combined Key Survey Results Click Here


1. American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association. 1994
2. Faraone SV, Sergeant J et al. The Worldwide Prevalence of ADHD; Is it an American condition? World Psychiatry 2003; 2 (2):104-113
3. Barkley RA, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Handbook for Diagnosis and Treatment, Guildford Publishers, New York, 1998
Notes to editors

- The Without Boundaries survey was spearheaded in 2004 by the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) in partnership with Eli Lilly and Company.
- Parents were surveyed by telephone in Australia, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Mexico, Spain, the UK and the US. Parents were surveyed on-line in Canada.
- The WFMH and Eli Lilly and Company wish to acknowledge and thank the following advocacy groups for their support and commitment to this important initiative.
ADD Association, Queensland (ADDAQ)
Learning and Attentional Disorders Society (LADS) Tel: +61 (0) 893 467 544
Learning Difficulties Coalition NSW
Juvemus Tel: +49 (0) 2631 54641
AMDAH Tel: + 52 5253 9190
The Netherlands
Balans Tel: + 31 (0) 3022 55050
ADANA Fundacion Tel: +34 93 241 19 79
ANSHDA Tel: +34 9135 60207
APNADAH Tel: +34 6061 27 224
ADDISS Tel: +44 (0)208 906 9068



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