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The New Face of AD/HD Comes to Capitol Hill

Young Adults with AD/HD Make a Visit to the Halls of Congress This Week to Advocate for Additional Resource and Funding for the Mental Health Disorder

WASHINGTON, May 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This Friday, May 8 will mark the fourth annual national Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, an extension of National Mental Health Month. On this day, members of Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) will gather on Capitol Hill to meet with their senators and representatives about the importance of resources and education in the mental health community.

Among the volunteers will be Blake Taylor, the youngest author of a memoir on AD/HD, and Courtney Gifford, the reigning Miss Wyoming. Blake and Courtney both have AD/HD, but they are part of a new generation who, because of the enhanced education and treatment options, are managing their AD/HD better than many generations who have come before them.

Blake Taylor is a pre-med student at the University of California, Berkeley. His memoir, ADHD & Me - what i learned from lighting fires at the dinner table, offers an inside look at what it's like to grow up with the condition. Ms. Courtney Gifford is a 4.0 college student, and the reigning Miss Wyoming who has incorporated AD/HD into her platform.

"Blake and Courtney have persevered because their AD/HD was caught, evaluated and treated early," noted E. Clarke Ross, CEO of CHADD. "Their life stories symbolize the paradigm shift that has taken place in public perceptions about AD/HD. Blake and Courtney are representative of a generational shift in how people look at and understand AD/HD. They are benefiting from better treatment and better education."

Five to eight percent of children and adolescents meet the criteria for having AD/HD, but fewer than half receive treatment.

"Courtney and I have benefited from great doctors and great treatment advice," added Taylor. "However, for the millions of other people living with AD/HD, we need more research funding for such things as alternative and complementary treatments for AD/HD. And we must never stop building up the public's awareness on AD/HD."

CHADD's visit to Capitol Hill this week is an effort for Congress to support existing and proven programs, like the National Resource Center on AD/HD (NRC), funded through the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD).

"The NRC serves as a national clearinghouse for individuals and families affected by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD)," added Ross. "It is an excellent example of a public-private partnership that continues to live out its mission of serving individuals with AD/HD."

This year, CHADD, along with AACAP are seeking a $600,000 increase for NCBDDD, of which $300,000 would fund technical assistance on employment benefits and supports as well as outreach to underserved populations.

CHADD, with 14,000 members and 200 chapters nationwide, is one of the nation's largest family-based organizations serving people affected by AD/HD.

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