There are currently around 60 local independent OCD (and related disorder) support groups across the UK, which are listed on our website.
These are made up of three types of support groups:
Peer led – These support groups are run by a person with OCD (or related conditions) or someone who has personal experience of the disorder. These make up the largest majority of groups listed on our website.
Peer led and professionally supported – These groups are run by someone with OCD or who has personal experience of the disorder but has access to professional support and guidance with running the group.
Professionally led - These groups are run by someone who has professional qualifications such as a CBT Therapist, Clinical Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Clinical Nurse, Counsellor or Social Worker.
Because all support groups are independent, OCD Action is not responsible for the work of any support group or support group facilitator. However, we gather as much information as possible about the groups we list (to ensure we can confidently and safely signpost people to a group, and feel sure they will receive a warm welcome and appropriate support). We always enquire of groups:
- About safeguarding policies and other key policies the group has and always recommend that groups have these in place, as it is good practice. We also have a template policy pack which groups can use and can adapt to their particular circumstances. We can also help with DBS (disclosure and barring) checks and we recommend that groups have these done.
- About any fees/charges to attend the group. OCD Action believes that asking members for a donation to help cover costs is fine, but should always be voluntary.
- That facilitators of professionally led groups provide details of their qualifications and with whom they are accredited, so we are able to pass this on for added reassurance to someone wanting to attend the group.
- A reassurance that there is no conflict of interest between a facilitator and any commercial therapy or treatment they may be affiliated with outside of the group sessions. Our recommendation, in accordance with NICE guidelines, is that group members are always directed towards NHS services for the treatment (CBT and medication) of OCD and related conditions.
Please note the decision to add a group (or remove a group) from our list of support groups is solely that of OCD Action.
Support groups are independent of OCD Action, but we are always able to offer a safe and confidential space to share any concerns you may have regarding a support group.
The Always Better Together project has also helped to develop the new 'Support Group Charter'. In producing this charter, OCD Action has worked closely with current group facilitators to identify what they consider to be best practice and we have produced a Charter based around this. You can view the Charter and further information here. Currently one support group has formally signed up and is working under the Charter Standard (WMOCD – Birmingham OCD, BDD & Hoarding support group). Our intention is to continue to work with other groups to help them to achieve the Charter, and to update the Charter on a regular basis to ensure it is as useful and relevant as it can be to the groups we aim to support.