October is here already, and what better way to start the month than to tell you our plans for this year’s OCD Awareness Week (8th-14th October) and World Mental Health Day (10th October)!
Set up by the International OCD Foundation in 2009, and supported by charities all over the world, OCD Awareness Week (#OCDWeek) is a week long campaign which aims to change people’s perceptions about OCD. With the help of our brilliant Awareness Champion volunteers, OCD Action works hard all year round to try and improve people’s understanding of the condition, and we think awareness weeks like this are a brilliant opportunity to give everyone’s efforts a big extra push.
Throughout the year, we speak to hundreds of people who are all at different points in their journey to recovery. From someone who is concerned they may have OCD to someone who is already in treatment - the battle to fight this awful condition is challenging and often quite daunting. As awareness of mental ill health improves, more and more people are trying to access help for their conditions. This is a really positive step, but it does come with its challenges. We are speaking to more people every day who are struggling to access good quality treatment for their OCD or related condition or in some cases are being denied treatment. This is unacceptable and damaging, and the situation does not seem to be improving.
That is why, this OCD Awareness Week, as well as supporting other charities' efforts to change misconceptions about the condition, we want to raise awareness of treatment for OCD and how you can access it. This will include highlighting:
- The recommended treatments for OCD
- The different pathways you can follow to access that treatment
- How can you self-advocate to ensure you get the support you deserve
We will be sharing key facts and tips each day about treatment on our social media channels, which we would love you to share to help people tackle this debilitating condition. Not only that, but in the next few months, we will be creating a self-advocacy toolkit for people affected by OCD and related disorders, to try and make recovery a much simpler journey. By sharing our pictures and commenting on our posts with your experiences, you will help provide us with vital information that will go towards making this self-advocacy toolkit as useful as it can possibly be.
If you want to get more involved during OCD Awareness week, then check out the International OCD Foundation's website, as they have loads of great ideas for raising awareness!
World Mental Health Day (#WMHD) will take place during OCD Awareness Week on Tuesday 10th October. This campaign is a worldwide effort to improve understanding about mental health, fight stigma, and support each other. On WMHD we will be hosting a Twitter Chat with OCD Action’s Advocacy Manager, Collette Byrne. Collette will be around for 1 hour to answer your questions about treatment, your rights, what support you are entitled to, and how you can fight any discrimination you may be facing as a result of your mental health condition. Join us over at @ocdaction on 10th October from 5-6pm to have your question answered by the expert!
On WMHD, we are also delighted to be attending an awareness event at The University of East London, where we hope to speak to many students about OCD and provide them with information and support! If you want to join us for future events like this one, why not sign up to become an OCD Action Awareness Champion?
And don't forget, in February 2018 we will running our main campaigning week, OCD Week of Action! We have lots of exciting things planned for the week and will be sharing these with you very soon, so keep an eye out on our website for updates!