Last week a CHADD volunteer questioned CHADD's outreach to underserved communities. We both agreed that AD/HD impacts all persons regardless of background, race, and culture, and that CHADD has a mission to make accurate information available to all. The volunteer disagreed with how CHADD’s national board of directors and I have set out to accomplish this goal.
In August 2001, the Surgeon General issued a report, Mental Health: Culture, Race and Ethnicity, as a supplement to Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. In July 2003, the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health issued its report, Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America. Both reports document the disparities in accessing science-based health, education, and social information and supports across racial and cultural groups.
To meet CHADD's objective of building a nationwide social movement to assist all persons with AD/HD and related disorders, we have organized and conducted 17 community forums targeted to the African-American and Hispanic/Latino communities. We have partnered with the National Medical Association , National Latino Behavioral Health Association (NLBHA), National Alliance for Hispanic Health (HHNA), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority , the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) , the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), Black Mental Health Alliance of Baltimore (BMHA), and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Multicultural Partner Coalition to bring science-based information on AD/HD to these communities. We constantly strive to translate our materials into Spanish.
We have listened. We have developed activities of outreach with respect. I am personally committed to making CHADD an effective partner and ally of those assisting persons with AD/HD and related disorders in our society as a whole. Given our history and limited resources, we support local programs that naturally develop and grow and we currently prioritize work with the African-American and Hispanic/Latino communities. We are unable to effectively outreach to all groups in society. This is a journey—a lifetime journey—to build trust, respect, and help. It is a respectful, planned, and sustained effort, relying on partners, to be helpful. It is a strategic priority of CHADD’s national board of directors.