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(Australia) Campaign for neurodiversity and women; awareness needed

Sept 3, 2023, Canberra Weekly: CWA calls for better diagnosis, treatment of neurodivergent conditions https://canberraweekly.com.au/cwa-nsw-calls-for-better-diagnosis-treatment-of-neurodivergent-conditions/

The growing number of women being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a focus of the Country Women’s Association of NSW annual Awareness Week which this year highlights the issue of neurodiversity and neurodivergent conditions.

The 2023 campaign, which runs from 3 to 9 September, focuses on increasing awareness around neurodiversity and neurodivergent conditions, such as ADHD, autism, dyslexia and Tourette syndrome. The CWA is calling for urgent changes to improve diagnosis and treatment options around ADHD, with rural, regional, and remote NSW residents particularly affected.

Karen Pavey, president of the Southern Tablelands Group of the CWA of NSW, said the issue of neurodiversity was raised at the CWA of NSW’s annual State Conference in Bathurst in May, when a motion was supported asking ‘governments to investigate ways to reduce the costs of diagnosing and treating adult (ADHD)’. A number of branch members related their own experiences of recent diagnosis and the challenges they had encountered.

“With an increase in the number of adults, many of them women, who are being diagnosed with or seeking diagnosis for ADHD, demand is currently exceeding the services available. Costs for diagnosis are rising, medication supplies are periodically stretched, and out-of-pocket treatment costs are putting pressure on household budgets,” Ms Pavey said….

This year, the CWA of NSW is partnering with the Australian ADHD Foundation Australia, a not-for-profit organisation which provides help and support to people living with or supporting someone with ADHD, and ultimately “working to make the lives of people with ADHD easier and simpler”.

The ADHD Foundation has reported a spike in demand for their services from 35- to 50-year-olds, many of them women, which was putting additional pressure on the health system. People are struggling to obtain a diagnosis in the first place and certain types of medication at times in short supply. …

“This Awareness Week we want to highlight these issues and urge governments at all levels to look to how we can better support those with neurodivergent conditions. And we also want to raise awareness in our communities about what neurodiversity is, the many people who live with neurodivergent conditions, and through greater awareness, build understanding of difference, and be more accepting of those differences,” President Karen said….


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