Connect Week (‘CW’) will take place from 5 October 2015 – 11 October 2015, although groups that don’t meet during this week are welcome to join in the two weeks before and the two weeks after these dates.
CW is an OCD Action Better Together project initiative for support groups.
CW’s focus is support groups connecting with their local community, either to raise their profile, reach out to people who might face barriers to attending a support group or connect with people who can help its existing members.
CW will provide an opportunity for support groups to meet their aim of supporting and helping people with OCD, BDD, Hoarding and other related disorders, either by enabling them to reach out to more people or by connecting existing members with people who can help and support them further.
CW has three key headings:
- Getting Known
- Reaching Out
- Inviting In
Getting Known is about promoting your group and raising its profile in your community, to attract more people who might benefit from support.
Reaching Out is about connecting with sufferers who face a specific barrier to attending a support group and doing something to remove that barrier. This barrier might be physical (for example: a disability), cultural (for example: a language barrier, or religious fears) or cognitive (for example: a learning difficulty or other mental health problems).
Inviting In is about connecting with local or national services who might be able to support sufferers, or with local organisations such as children’s centres (for parents) or FE colleges to raise awareness of OCD, BDD or Hoarding, which might in turn help their service users. You could invite them to a group session to give a presentation (or just to listen to group members), or speak to them one to one as the facilitator (or with other group members), to create a long lasting relationship which will develop over time.
Support Groups that are taking part in Connect Week 2015 and their planned activities….
Thursday 17th September – Reading OCD Support group attended Reading Well-being fair with a stall promoting their group & OCD Action.27th September - Reality Check OCD Support group, Macclesfield organised an "Awareness & Fundraising Event" on Sunday 27th September at Macclesfield Treacle Market. The Treacle Market is held on the last Sunday of each month, from 10am - 3.30 and attracts a lot of shoppers so was an ideal venue to raise awareness of OCD and their support group. They also raised a fantastic £163 with their tombola stall!
Thursday 1st Oct - MIND Neath group set their meeting during Connect Week (Oct 1st) as a Contamination OCD meeting, in an attempt to increase attendees by ‘Reaching Out’ specifically to those people with this condition.
Over the whole Connect week period - Tonna group is currently in the process of making the group independent, with one of the aims being to apply for funding to ‘Reach Out’ to those with OCD in the borough of Neath Port Talbot, plus ‘Invite In’ speakers to present at the group.
Over the whole Connect week period - Central London, Oxford, Eastleigh and Portsmouth groups have asked someone from their local Healthwatch to come along to their October sessions.
Over the whole Connect week period – Kings Lynn group are linking to the Mind facilities and carers meetings as well as reaching out with a full flyer campaign at the council offices, doctor surgeries, Mind centre, and local social Care offices.
Over the whole Connect week period - Oxford group are hoping to be joined at their next session by a local psychologist who will be giving a talk.
Over the whole Connect week period - Birmingham, West Midlands support group are working with Gerard Gooding-Williams from Aston Brain Centre in Birmingham, contributing to his research work, and will also be welcoming Mandy Beale to their group session. Mandy is a holistic therapist and will be carrying out reflexology with the group to show how this type of therapy can help people with OCD and related conditions.
Wednesday 7th Oct - The Wirral Group as part of Connect Week are attending The Lived Experience Conference at Liverpool University on Wednesday 7th October from 12pm to 5pm.
Wednesday 7th Oct – Eve Wingerath, our Better Together Regional Volunteer and co-facilitator at the Central London OCD Support Group will be attending ‘Ladnaanta: Well-being, a symposium on mental health support for the Somali communities’ workshop. She plans to pass on what she learns to not only to Central London group, but all London groups to help them better reach this community.
Friday 9th Oct – York group have invited CBT Therapist and author Keith Fearns to run a Q & A session via Skype at their group meeting.
Monday 14th October - Swansea MIND are having a presence in the Swansea Grand Theatre and will have OCD Action material on display, to ‘Reach Out’ for new members.