October 7, Airdrie City Council gave its unanimous approval to proclaim October 14-20, ADHD Awareness Week in Airdrie.
In a presentation by Tracey Sweetapple, a Guidance Counsellor at Bert Church High School, Council heard that one million Canadians have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Sweetapple says 90% of adults who have ADHD don't know they have it.
ADHD affects both sexes, all ages, it's difficult to diagnose and can interfere with many areas of someone's life.
In the majority of cases, it does not go away. Rather, it's a lifelong affliction, affecting kids at school, post-secondary students, employees, and parents at home.
Sweetapple called ADHD one of the most prevalent childhood mental health concerns with very real consequences for the individual and all of society when left untreated.
ADHD is a neurobiological condition that affects 5 to 12% of Canadian children with symptoms continuing into adulthood.
Every mainstream medical, psychological, and educational organization in the world currently recognizes ADHD as a chronic, debilitating yet treatable medical disorder that should receive the same recognition and access to services as depression or any other mental illness.
Sweetapple said there is a great need for education of health care professionals, employers, and educators about the disorder, anti-stigma campaigns and a need for well-trained mental health professionals to conduct accurate diagnosis and treatment procedures.
With the proclamation by Council, Airdrie becomes the first city in Alberta to mark ADHD Awareness Week and just the second city in Canada after Vancouver proclaimed the week in 2011.