Our Pledge to Fight Racism for the ADHD Community
Access to health care is revoked, refused, and rescinded every day in America because of racism. Racial inequality is denying black families this most fundamental right, among so many others. It must stop.
At ADDitude, we believe that equal access to health care, mental health services, and education are fundamental rights, yet we witness daily the ways our nation’s systemic racism denies these rights to so many people of color. We share our support for racial equality. We believe Black Lives Matter. We mourn George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and far too many others. And we resolve to show this support in our words and actions.
People of color are denied equal access to health care and mental health services every day in America. They are underdiagnosed and undertreated for ADHD, and other psychological conditions and learning disorders, because of their race and ethnicity. This discrimination is contributing to a national mental health crisis that disproportionately harms communities of color.
Today, we pledge to amplify the voices of people who have been leading the fight against racism in health care and education for years, even decades. The list below is just a start; we hope you will add to it in the Comments section and by contacting us. We also invite ADDitude community members to contribute paid stories about the ways in which race and racism have impacted your mental health and ability to live well with ADHD. Please email email@example.com to speak with us about telling your story.
We are working now on a series of expert webinars designed to help parents, educators, and practitioners better understand the ways that race impacts ADHD diagnosis and treatment, learning and behavioral interventions, mental health stigma, access to health care, and much more. We welcome your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org and look forward to announcing these free resources soon.
The list below is just a start — as we move forward, our editorial team will learn more, listen more, and work to better serve our readers with resources specifically for black children and adults with ADHD and related conditions.
We invite our readers to tell us what we could be doing better, and we strive to support those who are making change and changing lives.
the ADDitude team
Race and ADHD: Reading and Research
- Race and ADHD: How People of Color Get Left Behind
Thousands of kids are being underdiagnosed and undertreated for ADHD — due in large part to their race or ethnicity. Why is this happening, and what needs to be done to fix it?
- Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Prevalence of ADHD and Learning Disabilities Among U.S. Children Aged 3–17 Years
A report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published in March 2020
- African Americans Have Limited Access to Mental and Behavioral Health Care
A special report from the American Psychological Association (APA)
- Racial and Ethnic Disparities in ADHD Diagnosis From Kindergarten to Eighth Grade
A research study published in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, in July 2013
- Culturally Competent Approaches to ADHD: Issues in African-American Populations
a Psychiatric Times article published in September 2018
- Ourselves Black
Ourselves Black is a biannual, mental health resource magazine for the Black Community designed to explore mental health through a select number of engaging resources, interviews, stories and photography
- Combating ADHD in the African-American Community
Part of CHADD’s and the National Resource Center on ADHD’s podcast, All Things ADHD
- Study: ADHD Symptoms Are Going Untreated in Black Youth
A 2017 study published in Pediatrics found that African-American youth with ADHD are more likely to go off of their medication and less likely to have adequate follow-up than their white counterparts
- The Impact of Racism on the Health and Well-Being of the Nation
A 2015 webinar series by the American Public Health Association
- Treating ADHD in the African American Community
In this video from Help4ADHD, Cheryl Hamilton, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, explains how parents, teachers, healthcare professionals can help African-American children succeed when they have ADHD.
- TEDx Talk by Salif Mahamane
Salif is currently a doctoral student in the Experimental and Applied Psychological Program at USU. His research investigates cognitive and neurophysiological outcomes of exposure to, and immersion in, natural environments
- Black And Latino Children Are Often Overlooked When It Comes To Autism
An NPR report published in March 2018
- Kids with Disabilities Pay a Steeper Price in School Than We Ever Knew
The documentary film “The Kids We Lose” is a sobering examination of how American schools wind up funneling children with ADHD and disabilities into the criminal justice system.
- Study: Race Impacts Ratings of ADHD Behavior in Black Boys
A 2019 study investigating how racial differences might impact the ways adults rate the behavior of children with signs of ADHD.
- Structural Racism and Supporting Black Lives — The Role of Health Professionals
A perspective column published in The New England Journal of Medicine in December 2016
Race and ADHD: Support
- African American/Black Diaspora +ADHD Peer Support Group
Bi-weekly virtual meetings hosted by the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)
- Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective
BEAM is a training, movement-building, and grant-making organization dedicated to the healing, wellness, and liberation of Black and marginalized communities.
- Ethel’s Club
Ethel’s Club is the first social and wellness platform designed to celebrate people of color.
Race and ADHD: Resources
- The National Resource Center on ADHD
- The Black Virtual Therapist Network
Provided by the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective
- Healing and Grieving Group Sessions for the Black Community
Provided by Ethel’s Club
- How to Support the Struggle Against Police Brutality
A list of non-profit organizations accepting donations, compiled by New York magazine
Race and ADHD: Voices
- I’m a Black Woman with Adult ADHD: Facing Stigma, Shame, and Reality on My Journey to Diagnosis
by Morine Cebert, Ph.D., for Medium
Morine Cebert is a registered nurse, family nurse practitioner, and passionate scholar of all things Black women & infertility
- Catch-22: ADHD, Work, & the “Black Tax”
by Romanza McAllister, LCSW, for ADDA
Romanza McAllister, LCSW, is a Trauma Informed Psychotherapist / ADHD Coach and works with Adults centered on racial Identity, codependency and acceptance of their ADHD diagnosis.
- To Be Female, Anxious and Black
by Angela Neal-Barnett, Ph.D., for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Dr. Angela Neal-Barnett is a national award-winning psychologist, professor, and leading expert on anxiety disorders among Black Americans.
- Facing Racial Trauma – Again and Again – as a Black Woman With Anxiety
by Amanda Lynch for The Mighty
Amanda Lynch is an educator who specializes in instructional coaching, student engagement, and trauma informed practices in the classroom.
- Black Girl, Lost Keys
A blog founded by René Brooks that “empowers black women with ADHD and shows them how to live well with the disorder.”
- The ADHD Good Life Podcast with Sandra Coral
Sandra is a personalized learning specialist and instructional coach with an MA in Educational Psychology. From @theadhdgoodlife on Instagram, Sandra writes about intersectionality in ADHD and neurodiversity, and she shares her own experiences with ADHD as well.
Updated on June 15, 2020