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Living with ADHD and The Umbrella Project 2018

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects thousands across the UK, with many living undiagnosed well into adulthood, and this year we’re proud to sponsor The Umbrella Project created by The ADHD Foundation.

As The Umbrella Project launched in Liverpool last week, we thought we’d look at which UK cities are most affected by ADHD and what they’re doing to support people living with the disorder.

According to Google search data that we analysed, general understanding and awareness about the neurodevelopmental disorder has increased significantly over the last decade, with significantly more people across the country searching for the term.

By breaking further into the Google search data, we found that regional locations including Liverpool, Halesowen and Belfast were the communities searching most for ‘ADHD’, while London is searching most for ‘ADHD support’ and ‘ADHD diagnosis’. This could be due to the larger populations in these cities, however the inclusion of a relatively small town, Halesowen, could bolster the overall data showing a marked increase in awareness over the last decade, and hopefully greater understanding of the disorder to reduce the stigma surrounding it.

Dr Tony Lloyd, Chief Executive Officer at the ADHD Foundation, says:

“Stigma and ignorance about the condition is beginning to change and the enduring myths about ADHD being about badly behaved children is now thankfully being challenged by a more informed scientifically based understanding of ADHD.

“Undiagnosed and untreated, ADHD can result in anxiety and depression until those who have the condition learn how to manage it successfully and live happy healthy lives and achieve their potential. Daily exercise, good sleep and planning skills all help. For some medication is also necessary. This is why the ADHD Foundation campaigns for better understanding and better services as well as training schools to understand how to teach children with ADHD.

“ADHD is now recognised as having some positives - many creative people and entrepreneurs as well as athletes have ADHD.

“Many more people in public life are now being open about having ADHD. It’s important that we all learn to see ADHD not as a disorder - but as part of the rich neurodiversity of human nature. The world would be a poorer place without ADHD: we believe it’s time to really nurture and support that talent and improve outcomes and life chances for those with ADHD.”

A new study by the University of Nottingham and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NICH), found that there is a vast difference in diagnosis in regions around England. The study states that ‘children and young adults diagnosed with ADHD are twice as likely to come from the most socioeconomically deprived neighbourhoods in England’.

Resources around the UK supporting people living with ADHD and the possible side effects that come with the disorder are limited. Even London Borough of Camden, which is reported to be the ‘best’ borough in London for mental health care, has a three year waiting list to see a specialist at St Pancras Hospital.

A recent survey by Shire, found that alternative treatments to medication for children, including cognitive behavioural therapy, was simply not available at certain NHS trusts due to lack of funding, and other services can have a two year wait list.

We’re proud to sponsor The Umbrella Project, which is dedicated not only to developing the care and support needed across the UK, but also to recognising and celebrating the diverse skills and talents of people living with ADHD.

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