There’s been so much going on in the world, I hardly know where to start. The recent national elections ushered in a new president and, with the election of Barack Obama, achieved a milestone of world-take-note historical import. Combined with the ongoing wars, the housing crisis, and a financial crisis so significant we haven’t seen anything like it since the Great Depression, we are looking at an era of incredible difficulty and uncertainty. Whether you consider this a blessing or a curse, we are indeed living in interesting times.

In the past year or so, for those living with ADHD, there have been several reasons to hope that these interesting times will be a blessing.

In summer of 2007, a successful entrepreneur named Neil Peterson founded the Edge Foundation. The mission of this foundation is to provide every student with ADHD with his or her own ADHD Coach. I believe Neil has the ability and resources to accomplish this mission, and by doing so, do more for awareness of ADHD and coaching than any other organization there is, including our own. I believe this so strongly that, while I will finish out my term as president of the ACO, I have closed my own coaching practice to become Executive Director of the Edge Foundation.

In October of this year, the ACO and hence ADHD Coaching, gained more national prominence than ever through Shire’s Adult ADHD is Real public service announcement campaign. Howie Mandel is doing a wonderful job as spokesperson, and Shire’s campaign features just three resources in addition to their own: CHADD, ADDA, and the ACO. We did get an upsurge in both website hits and membership.

And finally, way back in September 2007, the Senate passed a Mental Health Parity Bill. In March 2008, the House passed their version of it. An analysis in the New York Times of the House bill said:

Three factors contributed to support for the legislation. First, researchers have found biological causes and effective treatments for numerous mental illnesses. Second, a number of companies now specialize in managing mental health benefits, making the costs to insurers and employers more affordable. Finally, some doctors say that the stigma of mental illness has faded as people see members of the armed forces returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with mental disorders.

The Mental Health Parity Act, modeled after the Senate version, finally became law just last month as a “sweetener” attached to the $700 billion bailout bill. Because of the economic crisis, that may have swept by a lot of people, but the H.R.6983 – Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 is of huge significance.

So there is reason to hope. We live in interesting time. Let’s make the most of it.

Sarah Wright

All my best,
Sarah Wright
President, ADHD Coaches Organization, Inc.