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ADHD support group calls for improved access to early diagnosis and intervention for the condition

PRESS RELEASE - For Immediate Release - 24/09/2013

ADHD Awareness Day 2013 campaign aims to influence the Government to provide better recognition and better management of ADHD in Irish society

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) Awareness Day takes place today, Tuesday, 24 September 2013, and to mark the event, HADD Ireland, a national patient advocacy and support group for those affected by ADHD, is calling on the Government for better recognition and better management of ADHD in Irish society.

ADHD is a complex medical condition, which affects about 1 in 20 young people around the world and can continue into adulthood.1-3 ADHD is neuro-developmental, which means it is underlined by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain (i.e., the brain of a person with ADHD develops differently to the ‘typical’ brain of a person without the disorder).4 The condition can make daily activities very challenging.  Undiagnosed and untreated ADHD can lead to secondary psychological problems, in addition to more problems in relationships, education and employment.5-8

Organised by HADD Ireland, the focus of this year’s Awareness Day is for improved access to early diagnosis ADHD. Timely and effective management of ADHD in children can improve quality of life and, with appropriate support, there is potential for people with ADHD to lead fulfilled and successful lives.

ADHD is one the most neglected and misunderstood mental health disorders in Ireland despite the fact that based on prevalence ratings; it affects approximately 60,000 Irish children, with many cases (75%) persisting into adulthood.  Unfortunately, ADHD often goes unrecognized and undiagnosed, thus, people often do not receive timely diagnosis and effective services and supports. This is, in part, due to the lack of public awareness and the widespread misunderstanding and social stigma attached to the condition, as well as the lack of appropriate structures which support early identification, intervention, and prevention.

HADD supports an Expert White Paper ‘ADHD: Making the Invisible Visible’ which was launched earlier this year,  which sets out five clear, workable recommendations to help tackle the impact of ADHD on individuals, families and society:

  1. Increase informed awareness of ADHD.
  2. Improve access to early diagnosis of ADHD, especially via the introduction of early identification and intervention programmes in different policy areas (i.e., education, mental health-related services, criminal justice services and the workplace).
  3. Improve access to ADHD treatment and develop a multidisciplinary patient-centered approach to ADHD care and support.
  4. Involve and support patient organizations.
  5. Encourage a patient-centered research agenda on ADHD, through more quantitative and qualitative research and through more involvement of allied stakeholders in developing priorities for future research.

Kate Carr Fanning, Vice Chair of HADD and contributor to the Expert White Paper, said:
“As someone who live with and works with people with ADHD, I know the significant consequences of undiagnosed and unmanaged ADHD.  This ADHD Awareness Day we are calling out to the government and wider society to recognize and support the needs of people affected by ADHD in Ireland.”


HADD will hold an information evening for parents on Wednesday, 25th September in the Red Cow Inn, Dublin from 7.30-9.30pm with special guest Fintan O’ Regan, Behaviour and Learning Consultant and ADHD expert and with talks from celebrated chef Rozanne Stevens and artist and fashion designer Helen Steele, both adults with ADHD.

Please see for further details.


For further details, please contact:
Lisa Buckley/ Frankie Bannon

Unique Media

Tel: (01) 522 5200 or (087) 1229774 (LB)

About HADD

HADD Ireland has been in existence for more than 30 years. Our mission is to make life better for persons affected by ADHD.  We are a national patient advocacy and support organization based in Dublin and operating throughout the Republic of Ireland.  HADD is a registered charity run entirely by volunteers (CHY no. 13614).

HADD is made up of a group of voluntary parents, patients, and professionals who have come together to raise awareness of the condition and to offer support, information and advice through sharing experiences and resources.

HADD has been in existence for 30 years and its main office is situated in the Carmichael Centre in Dublin city centre.

HADD’s main aims are as follows:

  • To help and support persons with ADHD/ADD and their families. 
  • To create a better understanding of ADHD and the difficulties people face because of it’s symptoms among teachers, the medical profession etc.
  • To raise awareness of the consequences of un-treated ADHD, the benefits of treatment and also of the positive aspects of ADHD
  • Provide an information sharing, advice and support network for parents, children, adults and professionals working with them.
  • Influence government and state bodies to develop and improve Health, Education and other support services for children and adults with the condition.
  • Encourage and contribute to research into prevalence, causes, treatment and management of ADHD.

About the Expert White Paper

‘ADHD: Making the Invisible Visible’, An Expert White Paper on ADHD: policy solutions to address the societal impact, costs and long-term outcomes, in support of affected individuals.

This Expert White Paper project was initiated, facilitated and funded by Shire AG and supported by the European Brain Council (EBC) and GAMIAN-Europe (Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks). Medical writing support was provided by APCO Worldwide and Complete Medical Communications, and funded by Shire AG.

The Paper was developed on the basis of a European Expert Roundtable on ADHD, with the participation of clinicians, patient advocacy groups and representatives from the education and criminal justice systems. The Roundtable addressed specific issues and challenges around the management of ADHD and provided a forum for the discussion of policy recommendations. The three co-authors, Dr Susan Young, Professor Michael Fitzgerald and Professor Maarten J Postma, formulated the outcomes of the Roundtable into the White Paper, which reflects their views based on their clinical and scientific experiences.

Expert White Paper on ADHD (PDF)


  • Polanczyk G et al. The worldwide prevalence of ADHD: a systematic review and metaregression analysis. Am J Psychiatry 2007;164:942-948.
  • Willcutt EG. The prevalence of DSM-IV attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a meta-analytic review. Neurotherapeutics 2012;9:490-499.
  • Faraone SV et al. The Age-Dependent Decline of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Meta- Analysis of Follow-Up Studies. Psychological Medicine 2006;36:159-165.
  • Curatolo et al. The Neurobiological Basis of ADHD. Italian Journal of Pediatrics 2010;36:79.
  • American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th edition 2000.
  • Biederman J et al. Functional Impairments in Adults with Self-Reports of Diagnosed ADHD: A Controlled Study of 1001 Adults in the Community. J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67(4):524-540.
  • Barkley, R. (2006). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Handbook for Diagnosis and Treatment. ISBN 978-1-59385-210-8.

Download this press release as MS Word Doc


ADHD Ambassadors

The HADD Ireland team would like to introduce you to two leaders, not only in their own respective fields, but also for ADHD . . .



Rozanne Stevens is a celebrated chief and regular feature within the Irish media (  Helen Steele is a critically acclaimed fashion designer and artist (  These two exceptional women are shining examples of how ADHD can be an asset. 

You can hear for yourself how these women made ADHD work for them, at tomorrow night’s HADD event in the Red Cow Hotel, Dublin at 7.30 – 9.30 p.m.