Ask the Canadian Government to increase funding for FND (Functional Neurological Disorder)

Ask the Canadian Government to increase funding for FND (Functional Neurological Disorder)

June 8, 2022
Signatures: 1,530Next Goal: 2,500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Susan Brown

Increased funding toward improved medical services are urgently required to ensure patients presenting with symptoms of Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) across all provinces and territories in Canada are diagnosed correctly and referred to knowledgeable FND health professionals for timely treatment.

FND has been described by international FND scientific researchers and specialists as a “crisis in Neurology” and a “Silent epidemic”.  Canada cannot continue to ignore and neglect this patient population. 

FND affects thousands of children, women, and men in our country and can have a devastating impact on how a person moves, thinks, and feels.  It affects the functioning of the nervous system and how the brain and body send and receive messages.   It is a brain-based disorder, it can be debilitating and leave people bed bound or in a wheelchair.  It can rob an individual of their voluntary movements, speech, and their senses (visual, auditory, vestibular, etc.…).  It can also rob patients of their independence, their cognition, their mental health, their careers, and educational pursuits.

Symptoms can include:

  • Involuntary movements  
  • Sensory dysfunction
  • Weakness/paralysis             
  • Dizziness/brain fog/migraines
  • Functional seizures                 
  • Bowel/bladder dysfunction
  • Severe fatigue                 
  • Speech issues and more

Symptoms can vary in type and intensity from day to day or moment to moment and can be difficult to predict.  There is only a minority of patients that experience long term remission. 

The cause of FND is unknown and research is still in its infancy because it has been grossly underfunded, and the medical system has relied on erroneous theories that were never proven by scientific research.  FND is complex, the onset of the condition can be triggered by a multitude of life events, including surgery, an accident, physical injury, emotional/sexual trauma, viral or bacterial infection, TBI, PTSD, reaction to medication or vaccination, or an additional underlying medical condition.  Some patients do not know what triggered their FND, their bodies and minds stop functioning the way they used to one day, and the desperate search for medical assistance begins. 

Most health clinicians, even neurologists, have never been formally trained on how to diagnose and treat FND.  The lack of medical education on FND results in significant delays in diagnosis and difficulty in accessing treatment.  It takes 7 years on average for patients to receive an FND diagnosis and multidisciplinary FND aware treatment rehabilitation programs are underfunded and rare in Canada.  This has got to change! Canadians with FND frequently face long waiting lists and they struggle to access the treatment they need.  But it gets worse, patients are commonly made to feel, directly or indirectly, like they are overly dramatic, dishonest, malingering, fakes, attention getters, drug seekers, of weak character, complainers, that their symptoms are bogus, that they don’t really exist, that they are wasting the hospital’s resources and emergency services.  They are often left to fend for themselves with little or no guidance on how to manage or improve their symptoms.  All that because clinicians are not up to date with the research findings on FND and the resources are not being allocated to diagnose and treat this condition.  This places an undue burden on the patients and their families.  Some clinicians are knowledgeable about FND and would be happy to care for patients, but a major barrier that holds health professionals back from being more proactive in the care of FND patients is the lack of functioning network around them, health professionals are often unsure who to refer the patient to for treatment and therapy. 

Without timely diagnosis and access to specialized FND aware multidisciplinary treatment centers, patients face long-term detrimental consequences to their health, quality of life and finances.    

Even though FND is the second most common reason for consultation in neurology clinics (migraines are the first), it remains an “orphan disorder” that does not have a medical discipline of its own.  Consequently, patients get lost in the abyss between medical disciplines with costly consequences. A recent research study concluded the quality-of-life rating of those living with FND is worse than patients living with Parkinson’s.  We are asking you to sign this petition to make the Canadian federal government (Health Minister) and its provincial counterparts (Provincial Health Ministers) aware of the situation and request that positive action be taken by providing funding to improve awareness and treatment of Functional Neurological Disorder in Canada.  FND Patients across Canada are in need of your help.

For more information on Functional Neurological Disorder (FND), please visit the following sites:

FND Together

FND Hope

FND Society

Note to Health Professional: 

The FND Society is an international professional society of clinicians, scientists, other healthcare professionals, students, and members of the lay public who are interested in functional neurological disorders. Please consider joining the FND Society @





Support now
Signatures: 1,530Next Goal: 2,500
Support now