ADHD screening and treatment now free in South Africa
With the assistance of further funding, a recently launched initiative plans to take on the neurodevelopmental disorder affecting 1 in 20 South African children.
An oft misunderstood condition where children are erroneously labelled either delinquent or unteachable; there is a definite need to not only educate South Africans about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), but also to make treatment easily accessible throughout the country.
Answering this need is the Goldilocks and The Bear Foundation, the result of the combined efforts of psychiatrist, Dr Renata Schoeman, and SA sportsman, Nic de Beer, aiming to provide free access to ADHD screening, early intervention and treatment to rural communities across South Africa; the first non-profit in the country to do so.
Dr Schoeman cautions that, "Although mental health clinics exist in the public sector, children with ADHD often never reach this point of diagnosis and treatment due to a lack of awareness and knowledge in their communities. They are never screened for ADHD, and may be labelled as naughty, or 'stupid', or just silently fall out of the educational system and only come to our attention when absorbed in the criminal justice system."
Commencing treatment in the Western Cape, the foundation will assist 500 children each month, whilst raising funds in order to branch out nationally. And to prove their dedication, the founders tackled the tolling Cell C AfricanX Trail run, donning fancy dress costumes all the way to the finish line.
The foundation hopes to gain the support of businesses and community-based organisations in their continued fundraising endeavours, which includes a drive to raise awareness among teachers and parents.
Visit their website to learn how you can contribute to this worthy cause.
Are you parenting a child with this debilitating condition? Share your experience by emailing email@example.com, and we may publish your story. Please let us know if you'd rather remain anonymous.