9 UK-based ADHD Adult Resources
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects people’s behaviour. People with ADHD can seem restless, may have trouble concentrating and may act on impulse.
Symptoms of ADHD tend to be noticed at an early age and may become more noticeable when a child’s circumstances change, such as when they start school. However, due to gender biases and social pressures, many women are diagnosed later in adulthood.
The symptoms of ADHD usually improve with age, but many adults who remain undiagnosed or with a diagnosis continue to experience challenges.
Although ADHD is becoming more widely recognised here in the UK, many support services and informational guides come from the US.
UK Diagnosis pathways for Adult ADHD
Getting diagnosed and treated for ADHD can be lengthy and challenging; however, over the past 20 years, there have been significant breakthroughs in research concerning adult ADHD.
Whilst the NHS has much that it does well, due to its size and bureaucracy, it can take a long time to adapt to changes and provide resources for policy changes. Whilst some people have had a smooth experience accessing diagnostic services within only a few weeks, many others have had a much more difficult experience.
At the moment, adult ADHD services in the NHS is a postcode lottery with many areas lacking any adult ADHD services; and where services do exist, they are rationed and have long waiting lists. In many regions, clinical staff have not been trained about adult ADHD, and it is common for them not to have awareness or experience of Adult ADHD, making the referral process more difficult. Adult ADHD is often misdiagnosed or ignored.
This might sound like a negative situation, but in many areas, things are improving. We encourage people to request access to services, causing the effect of sending a signal to the NHS that more resources need to be allocated for ADHD services.
If there is no ADHD clinic in your area, you can request an out-of-area referral to another NHS clinic or a local private clinic. The National NHS Adult ADHD Clinic is based at the Maudsley hospital in London, and your GP can make the referral directly to the Maudsley. See below for the Maudsley clinic details. Once the referral has been received, the clinic will send a funding request which will trigger an out-of-area funding request with your local NHS clinical commissioning group (CCG). In our experience, most out-of-area funding requests have been successful and are processed on a case-by-case basis.
Private assessments for adult ADHD are available in the UK. AADDUK provides a list of psychiatrists. The cost is around £500 – £800 for an assessment, but it will take many more consultations to determine the type and dose of medication. Consultations can be done over the telephone and the typical cost for a half-hour session is £125. A private psychiatrist will write to your GP, who will prescribe the medication for you (with an NHS prescription).
Finding the correct dosage can take a while, and you may need lifelong medications and check-ups. If you are considering going private, starting the process to access services on the NHS is a good idea.
NICE guidelines on diagnosis
1.3.1 A diagnosis of ADHD should only be made by a specialist psychiatrist, paediatrician or other appropriately qualified healthcare professional with training and expertise in the diagnosis of ADHD, based on:
– a full clinical and psychosocial assessment of the person; this should include discussion about behaviour and symptoms in the different domains and settings of the person’s everyday life and
– a full developmental and psychiatric history and
– observer reports and assessments of the person’s mental state. 
9 Adult UK-based ADHD support services, including podcasts to help you on your self-discovery journey
UK Diagnosis and Therapies
People with ADHD may also have additional problems, such as sleep and anxiety disorders. The National Health Service provides information about symptoms, causes, and assessments.
Take a look if you’re thinking about starting the diagnosis process or ways to live with ADHD.
ADHD Care improves the lives of people affected by ADHD with a commitment to excellence in all that they do. They are passionate about delivering care tailored to the individual, enabling them to maintain and develop independence.
Their service is fully dedicated to providing prompt assessment, diagnosis and treatment of ADHD as well as information, tools, and resources their clients need to have a better understanding of ADHD.
The treatment interventions they offer include individual and group psychological therapy, medication, ADHD coaching and counselling.
ADHD Care’s clinicians have a high level of autonomy. They can often make complex care decisions, admit and discharge clients from their service, or refer to other appropriate healthcare colleagues based on their assessment.
UK ADHD Membership Groups
ADHD Babes is a community group for Black Women and Non-Binary people with ADHD. They create safer spaces for ADHDers to flourish and live their lives to their fullest potential.
Research shows that Black Women are routinely under-diagnosed. Official figures in 2014 showed that we made up the highest percentage of people over 16 to screen positive for ADHD. Late diagnosis also increases the prevalence of other comorbid mental health issues, including depression and anxiety disorders.
ADHD Babes is run by members of their team from their community. They aim to empower and encourage all members to build peer support networks, share lived experiences and embrace their neurodiversity as a community.
They inspire and empower people with community, tools, learning and healing spaces to redefine and understand ADHD, allowing them to tackle its difficulties and utilise its strengths.
ADHD Babes created an accessible platform and safer spaces for ADHDers to connect, learn and break down the barriers that restrict their community from understanding a diagnosis of ADHD.
ADHD Aware is a group that began by informally running an ADHD peer support group, which was incredibly successful in its aim of supporting people living with neurodiversity.
The peer group became very popular and quickly grew its membership. They’ve helped people live happier lives and get access to numerous services made available to people with ADHD so they can function and thrive with their neurodiversity.
They’re a charity run by 17 volunteers, with a membership of over 1,260 and a Board of Trustees of 6, supported by the Trust for Developing Communities (TDC).
Their Board of Trustees comprises neurodiverse and neurotypical volunteers with a wide range of experience and skills. Two of the neurodiverse members of the Board also volunteer as peer supporters at their sessions. The Chair volunteers at the session for family, friends and partners.
UK ADHD Podcasts
Every two weeks, the ADHD Babes invite you to a new episode hosted by members of ADHD babes. Join them to share their experiences living with ADHD as a Black woman or non-binary person.
Listen while they interview special guests who will inspire them with knowledge and tools to help them and you manage their ADHD.
Walk with them in their journey of learning about our beautiful brains and all the things that come with living in a world where you have to manage multiple intersectionalities.
ADHD babes is an open space for anyone looking for support with ADHD.
Writer Grace Timothy explores what it’s like to live with ADHD with other women and non-binary people.
Grace was diagnosed with ADHD at 37 and is on her personal journey regarding her diagnosis. We’re finally waking up to the fact that ADHD isn’t just for little boys; she wants to understand better what the lived experience of ADHD is and how the day-to-day feels.
She asks those big questions: Is it why I’m rubbish at phone sex? Is it why I swear in front of my mother-in-law? Is it why I go into the minutiae of my menstrual cycle with a stranger in the supermarket?
Grace speaks to different guests each week on one common theme of ADHD. From friendships and work to dating and motherhood, she’ll also have an expert give us the real talk about how ADHD affects our behaviours around that theme.
She hopes that you’ll better understand ADHD, whether for your sake or someone else’s. Expect adult humour and language from start to finish.
Women Who Rebrand took part in a collaborative podcast episode for the first time. Three podcasters with their own neurodivergence sat down to discuss the connection between spirituality and neurodiversity.
Amber Collins is an Autistic and ADHD Content Creator and Social Media Manager. She’s also the host of the ‘How To Live Authentically Autistic’ podcast. During this episode of Women Who Rebrand, she shares the surprising way she learned about being an Autistic person.
Dee Safieh is an Operations and Events Manager, and host of ‘We Knew The Moon ‘- the official podcast for The Goddess Temple Twickenham. Dee explains how she got diagnosed with Dyslexia at Art college; do many neurodivergent people enter creative careers, perhaps because of their ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking and open-mindedness? We like to think so! Dee not only joins us as 1/3 of this collaborative podcast episode, but she does so as a regular addition to the Women Who Rebrand podcast. You’ll hear more from her in future episodes.
Sareta, creator and host of Women Who Rebrand, as you may know, was diagnosed with ADHD not too long ago. While talking about how great it was to realise why she struggled with exams, timekeeping, and anxiety, she explained that she didn’t see ADHD as a curse or negative thing. She linked the possibility of ‘neurominorities’ being drawn to spirituality due to their ability to think differently and a desire to be a part of a welcoming community.
The ladies, obviously, didn’t make generalisations about all neurodivergent thinkers during episode 33 of Women Who Rebrand–this episode draws upon their own experiences as spiritually aware neurodivergent women.
Sit down, and grab a pen; you can take notes during this episode! As you can imagine, there was a lot of talking in one fantastic episode.
Sareta and Chioma are joined by ADHD Babes founder and managing director Vivienne Isebor and Selorm, an ADHD Babes member and volunteer who also has Autism.
The four talk about the challenges and triumphs Black Women and Non-Binary people with ADHD experience here in the UK. As well as cultural and racial issues that lead to masking and affect the early detection of traits that can lead to misdiagnoses.
Are Black and Non-Binary people believed when they relay their symptoms to doctors?
It’s a known fact that some practitioners adhere to outdated manuals filled with racial stereotypes. So when they report traits like tiredness, Vivienne says they’re often asked about sleep hygiene rather than noting it as an ADHD trait.
Can ADHDers have great friendships and relationships outside of neurodiverse communities? Well, communication is vital.
Communication styles can add complications or challenges. Selorm and Sareta explain one of their main bugbears, neurotypical, not saying what they mean or hidden agendas.
UK ADHD Education and Employment Advocacy
The ADHD Foundation is the UK’s leading neurodiversity charity, offering a strength-based, lifespan service for the 1 in 5 of us who live with ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, DCD, Dyscalculia, OCD, Tourette’s Syndrome and more.
They aim to create social change by working with agencies across all sectors to remove the cultural and systemic inequalities for neurodiverse people in health, education, and employment.
While providing expert, multidisciplinary services in health and education, they lead by example, viewing neurodiversity and ‘thinking differently’ as a strength whilst acknowledging and understanding the difficulties associated with neurodevelopmental conditions.
Through training and support, they enable public services in the UK and employers to ensure that a neurodiversity paradigm is enshrined in public policy and legislation.
ADHD Girls Ltd is a social impact company with a dual mission to empower girls and women with ADHD to thrive in society and improve societal understanding of neurodiversity via an intersectional lens.
Powered by personal lived experiences of ADHD, they embody the neurodiversity movement, which displaces the medical model of disability and recognises the barriers presented through the way society organises itself. They believe that these barriers can be removed with adequate support.
ADHD Girls founder and director Samantha Hiew is a storyteller trained in medical science PhD, specialising in demystifying ADHD & neurodiversity.
Sam’s work bridges two worlds – those with lived experiences of neurodivergence and those who don’t – so they work towards integration within society.
Sam is passionate about helping everyone reframe the medical labels given to neurodivergents. She sees each individual as more than their diagnosis and through the lens of the broad spectrum of identities that sum up our human experiences.
ADHD Girls services include Personal and professional development workshops & courses for neurodivergents and parents of neurodivergent children. They produce thought-provoking digital awareness campaigns and events that destigmatise ADHD and run neurodiversity training within education and work settings to improve cultural understanding of neurodivergence, sharing best practice approaches.
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