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Updated June 27, 2015

CADDAC Fundraiser: A Night of Comedy and Inspiration

September 26th, 2015 at 7PM
at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto, ON

Register Now!

2015 Conference
Our 7th annual ADHD conference is this September 26-27, 2015
at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto, ON

Register and view addtional information here.
View and download Poster for sharing here

Advocacy in Action

On Tuesday May 12, a CADDAC delegation had a great day at Queen’s Park. Building off the momentum of Mental Health Awareness Week (May 4-10), CADDAC Executive Director Heidi Bernhardt, Dr. John Tucker and Dr. Doron Almagor spoke with representatives from various ministries to raise awareness about ADHD and advocating for increased support and treatment options for those in impacted by this disorder.

In these discussions, CADDAC was able to advocate and raise awareness with numerous Ministry officials, including those from Health and Long-Term Care, Children and Youth Services, Education, Community and Social Services, and the Office of the Attorney-General.

As ADHD is one of those illness that continues to be lost in a haze of social stigmas and lack of understanding, these efforts are particularly important.
It is part of CADDAC’s mandate to take a leadership role in the advocacy of ADHD in all areas that affect people with ADHD, including education, health, support, employment, regulatory bodies and resources. These efforts were part of CADDAC’s efforts to fulfill this mandate, as we continue to strive to network with government, professional organizations, health care providers, educators and all other stakeholders to improve the lives of people with ADHD.

It’s time ADHD is seen for what it really is: a complex, multifaceted, often life-long mental health disorder that significantly impacts people’s lives, the lives of those closest to them, and society as a whole.

CADDAC is thankful to all the open dialogue of the day and appreciates the opportunity to work with the Government of Ontario moving forward.

Correcting the Record: ADHD is No Laughing Matter

Mental Health Awareness Week kicked off last Monday and ran through the week until Sunday, May 10th.

This important initiative through the Canadian Mental Health Association encourages individuals to learn, talk about, reflect on, and engage others on issues related to mental health and mental illness.

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is one of those illness that continues to be lost in a haze of social stigmas and lack of understanding.

Too often we hear a friend, relative, or co-worker joke about “having ADHD,” lending support to the argument that ADHD is simply the new fad diagnosis used to explain away the days where we find it difficult to concentrate. But for over a million Canadians who are directly affected by this illness, ADHD is no laughing matter.

It’s time ADHD is seen for what it really is: a complex, multifaceted, often life-long mental health disorder that significantly impacts people’s lives, the lives of those closest to them, and society as a whole.

Hence, here are some important things you need to know about ADHD:

ADHD, a medical neurobiological disorder, is a serious and wide-spread mental health issue impacting more than one million Canadians. As the most common childhood mental health condition worldwide, ADHD impacts one to two children in every Ontario classroom, and later on, four out of every 100 employees in the province.

ADHD increases the risk of suicidal ideation and behaviours, and commonly occurs alongside other mental health illnesses like depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Physicians treating patients with ADHD are aware that monitoring for these symptoms is critical to ensuring the safety of ADHD patients, and watch closely during screening and assessment processes.

Health Canada recently announced that clearer warnings about the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviours will be included in the prescribing information for ADHD medications, while also underscoring that there is no proof that ADHD medications cause these symptoms, and that the benefits of taking ADHD medications continue to outweigh potential risks. This announcement does, however highlight the importance for those with ADHD to be aware and continue to have proper monitoring by their physicians.

A shocking 90 per cent of adults with ADHD remain untreated and those who suffer from the illness are more likely to be impacted by injury and motor vehicle accidents, substance abuse, or jail time. In children, ADHD significantly increases the risk of high school dropout.

Taking into account the direct health, education, and justice-related costs, the cost of illness of ADHD for Canadians is over $7 billion, exceeding the cost of major depressive disorders.

In most cases ADHD is not preventable, but when managed properly, those with ADHD can lead happy, successful, and fulfilling lives.

Effective management of ADHD requires multi-modal treatment, the first being patient, parent, and teacher education and awareness. Treatment options to ensure success with ADHD patients include a variety of psychosocial treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy, coaching, behaviour strategies, specialized tutoring, ADHD medication, regular follow-up visits with a trained medical practitioner, and special educational accommodations.

The more seriously we take ADHD the more likely it is we can help children have better outcomes and grow up to reach their full potential. It’s time to stop kidding around and start taking this critical mental health issue more seriously.

If you’re curious to find out more information on ADHD’s socioeconomic impacts, you can read CADDAC’s Policy Paper, “Paying Attention to the Cost of ADHD: The Price Paid by Canadian Families, Governments and Society” here.

Health Canada Information Update

Health Canada releases an information update entitled “ADHD drugs may increase risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviours in some people; benefits still outweigh risks”.

Health Canada has just released an information update stating that clearer warnings about risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviours will be included in the prescribing information for all ADHD medications:

Previously this warning was only included on Strattera (Atomoxetine). It is very important to read the updated information thoroughly and pay attention to the specific language used by Health Canada. Health Canada states that there is little evidence that ADHD medications cause suicidal thoughts and behaviours, but that they may possibly contribute to the risk. Health Canada has not shared what triggered the update at this time other than saying there have been some reports. Since ADHD in itself increases the risk of suicidal ideation and behaviours physicians treating patients with ADHD are already aware that monitoring for these symptoms is important. Additionally, ADHD can commonly occur along with other disorders such as depression and bipolar, so physicians are aware that additional disorders such as these need to be screened for during the assessment process.  However, an added reminder to physicians, caregivers and adults taking the medication to monitor for changes in mood, thoughts, feelings of depression and suicidal behaviour especially when medication is started, increased or even stopped seems to be a sensible suggestion.

Awareness of potential side effects, even when the risk is minimal is important, but should not lead to panic or stopping the medication. Health Canada has also stated very clearly that the benefits of medications for ADHD still continue to outweigh the risks. Parents of children taking medication for ADHD and adults taking the medication should not be alarmed by this warning and they should not take their children off the medication especially without first speaking with their physician. If any of these symptoms are present caregivers and adults should be reporting these to their physician immediately. Treating any medical disorder with medication is always a matter of assessing the risk benefit ratio. Physicians follow this practice when prescribing medications. Every medication has a risk of side effects, but not treating ADHD also has significant side effects. If you have concerns speak to your physician. 

March 26, 2015

2014 CADDAC Accomplishments

CADDAC would like to share our 2014 accomplishments with you. Feel free to forward this link to others who may have an interest in ADHD. We encourage you to support more great work in 2015 by joining the CADDAC family of members!

View our 2014 Accomplishments

ADHD Prep (Parent Readiness Education Program)

CADDAC presents ADHD PREP, a 2-day program on Saturday April 25 from 9AM - 4PM and Sunday April 26 9AM - 4PM

Visit the ADHD Prep Outline for an overview of the course content.

ADHD PREP is a comprehensive 12­-hour program geared to parents of newly diagnosed children and adolescents with ADHD, and to parents wishing to upgrade their knowledge on the more complex aspects of ADHD including ADHD and learning, executive functioning and self and mood regulation.

Treatment options, parenting strategies and advocacy skills will also be covered. The program will occur over a weekend allowing parents from outside the local area to drive in for the weekend. Pricing includes workshop materials and light refreshments each morning and afternoon.

New Survey on Generic Medications

A group of national and provincial organizations who work with, and represent individuals and families living with a wide range of mental health conditions responding to concerns raised by our clients, members and constituents/stakeholders, came together to gain better insight into their experiences with medications.To better understand direct experiences with medications, we have launched a nation-wide survey requesting feedback from individuals, caregivers and healthcare providers on existing knowledge and experience with brand name and generic medications.

Patients and caregivers
are invited to complete the survey posted at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FKC8YFB.
Clinicians are asked to complete the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MFLJWFV.

The survey will be available online until April 15th, 2015.

After the survey results have been analyzed a paper will be written and shared. Without awareness and knowledge patients, their caregivers and their prescribing physicians cannot make informed decisions about treatment options.
Thank you in advance for your help with this survey!

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