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For information on specific policy issues please visit the Policy Papers tab. If you are interested in interviewing CADDAC, please contact or call 416-637-8584.

Canadians Continue to Underrecognize a Serious Precursor to Mental Health Disorders

Toronto, ON – October 03, 2022:

A new paper, ADHD and Mental Health, authored by the Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada (CADDAC), highlights the fact that ADHD is a significant precursor to additional mental health conditions.

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Families want ADHD to be an Ontario Election Issue but Need Help Finding their Voices

May 11, 2022
To help the more than 500,000 Ontarians who live with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) effectively engage with candidates in the upcoming provincial election, the Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada (CADDAC) has released an election toolkit. 

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Three Provincial Education Systems are Failing Students with ADHD

A national report comparing provincial and territorial special education systems found that three provinces failed the grade in providing equitable access to education for students with ADHD.

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Women with ADHD: At great risk for mental and physical health disorders

Recent Canadian studies, lead by, Professor Esme Fuller-Thomson Ph.D., Director of the Institute for Life Course & Aging at the University of Toronto, report that 1 in 4 women with ADHD have attempted suicide in their lifetime and are 69% more likely to have had a substance abuse disorder.

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Students with ADHD Ignored as Boards Review Effect of Covid

Students with ADHD, and others unrecognized as having a disability by the Ontario Ministry of Education, will be excluded from research investigating the impact of covid, online schooling and quad systems.

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Discriminatory Policy Implemented by The TDSB Will Do More Harm Than Good

May 5, 2021

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Canadian ADHD Organizations Call on Provinces to prioritize individuals with ADHD in COVID-19 vaccination rollout

April 22, 2021

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ADHD: A Significant Health Risk

June 10, 2019

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CADDAC's Policy Papers

ADHD and Mental Health

ADHD rarely exists in isolation. Many individuals with ADHD have at least one additional mental health condition and the presence of ADHD and co-occurring conditions can have detrimental impacts on one’s overall quality of life.

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Action Plan: Creating Equitable Access to ADHD Care in Canada

Action from the Federal Government is needed now to support individuals with ADHD. CADDRA, CADDAC and CanREACHhave come together and is calling on the Government of Canada to create an expert advisory group as part of the National Mental Health Standards.

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2021 Report Card: ADHD in the School System

A national report comparing provincial and territorial special education systems found that three provinces failed the grade in providing equitable access to education for students with ADHD.

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Girls and Women with ADHD

When most people hear the term Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, they usually picture young overly active boys, who have difficulty sitting still and staying focused. What they rarely picture, are bright, daydreamy, girls unable to get their school work done, or forty-year-old moms struggling to keep their families and households organized, their employers happy and their volatile emotions in check. While all of these presentations of ADHD are accurate, it is the girls and women with ADHD who remain significantly underdiagnosed and undertreated in Canada due to our lack of awareness, training and research. This is placing some of our most vulnerable Canadians at risk.

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ADHD: A Significant Health Risk

ADHD can reduce one’s life expectancy by up to 22 years if persistent into adulthood and reduce one’s healthy life expectancy by 8.4 years (Barkley, Fischer, 2018). That is 2.5 times greater than the top four risk factors that we focus on as a society, combined; such as obesity, alcohol use, smoking, and coronary heart disease, (Barkley and Fischer, 2018). In addition, to physical health risks, individuals with ADHD also suffer from co-morbid psychiatric disorders; as many as 80% of adults and 43% of children and adolescents have another mental illness.

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Ignoring ADHD Increases Justice and Corrections Ministry Budgets

Building ADHD awareness and assessment, diagnostic and treatment services for ADHD into our justice and corrections services would reduce costs for our Ministries of Justice, Safety and Corrections.

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Inequitable Access to Education for Canadian Students with ADHD

The lack of recognition of ADHD as a serious impairment to learning has allowed for inconsistency and inequity for students with ADHD across Canada, provinces and school boards when accessing accommodations and education resources for for their medical disability.

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ADHD and the Justice System: The Benefits of Recognizing and Treating ADHD in Canadian Justice and Correction Systems

Incident rates of ADHD seen in the correctional population are 5 times that of adults, and ten times that of youth in the general population. Screening, early detection and appropriate treatment would reduce recidivism rates and costs to the justice and correction systems.

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Understanding ADHD as a Disability in the Post-Secondary Environment

This paper outlines the lack of national or provincial standards backed by medical research defining what medical documentation should be required of students with ADHD by post-secondary schools to qualify them for academic accommodations. Some post-secondary institutions are demanding that expensive and unnecessary psychoeducational testing be done before students are eligible for the necessary accommodations. This is resulting in discriminatory practices potentially leaving colleges and universities open to legal challenge.

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Equality of Access for Canadians to New Medication

Medication should never be the only treatment for ADHD, however for many it can be an important part of a multimodal treatment approach. Despite this, long-acting or extended release (XR) medications, the clinically-recommended

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Paying Attention to the Cost of ADHD… The Price Paid by Canadian Families, Governments and Society

This paper examines some of the known costs of ADHD and indicates what the Canadian and provincial governments might do to reduce these significant long-term costs. Left untreated, ADHD impedes an individual’s ability to attain human and social capital and thereby impacts the Canadian economy.

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Equitable Access to Education for all Canadians

Students with ADHD continue to fall through the cracks in our education systems. Students who are impaired due to their ADHD continue to be denied the official identification and appropriate accommodations that would allow them to reach their academic potential.

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ADHD and Special Education across Canada, “2010 Provincial Report Card: ADHD in the School System”

In 2010 CADDAC published a report on how students with ADHD were recognized as having learning needs in Canada. The main goal of this exercise was to ascertain whether or not students with ADHD have equitable access to educational accommodations, across all of Canada, as do other students with impairments such as learning disabilities. This report outlines how these systems impact students with ADHD and grades them.

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