I have ADHD and it’s my duty to speak out about it – Daniel Johnson MSP

This is ADHD awareness month and we have just had autism hour and mental health awareness week. So, given this convergence of issues, I thought I should use my guest appearance in the columnist slot to highlight these issues which are very important to me.

Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 6:00 am
People who are non neuro-typical still face hugs levels of misunderstanding. Picture: John Devlin

We have become good at talking about mental health and being open to people’s needs, but I feel we have a huge amount still to do for people with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Combined, people with autism, ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia, to name the most prominent of these conditions, make up around a fifth of population.

Yet there still seems to be huge levels of misunderstanding and stigma faced by people who are non-neuro-typical.

I happen to be one of those people. I was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult.

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I therefore feel it is my duty as a politician to speak up and talk about the changes we need to ensure understanding, support and services are in place for people with neurodevelopmental disorders.

In my view it is the next step in the public conversation on mental health. People with autism or ADHD are much more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety.

We need to not just be sympathetic when it comes to mental health issues, we need to think about whether there are underlying issues or conditions and look to ensuring they are addressed.

Faux concern and indifference is not enough. Speaking about this is key.