Help and Information Line
What is it?
The OCD Action Helpline and Email Service is a confidential and unbiased service offering help, information and support for people with OCD, carers and anyone who is concerned that they, or their friends or relatives, may have OCD or a related disorder.
The number is 0845 390 6232 or 020 7253 2664
Calls are charged at a local rate from a standard BT land line; mobile phone charges may vary.
When is it available?
Dependent upon volunteer availability: Monday – Friday 9.30am – 8pm. We have particularly good volunteer availability on Tuesday evenings. If we don't have a volunteer available please leave a message and we will aim to call you back within 48hrs of your call.
We aim to respond to all emails within 5 working days, subject to volunteer availability.
If you need urgent support, please contact Samaritans 24 hour support line on 116 123.
Who answers the phone?
Most of our Helpline Volunteers are people with personal experience of OCD who now feel strong enough to provide help and support to others. All of our volunteers fully understand OCD, its impact and what you are going through. Helpline Volunteers undertake two days of formal training followed by a lengthy period of on-the-job observing and supervised call-making.
What can I expect?
You do not have to give your real name if you do not want to. We can listen supportively to you, tell you about the clinically effective treatment choices available through the NHS and how to access those treatments. There is no time limit to the length of the call – you may take as long as you need. We can also send free information packs and leaflets to you (all of our materials are sent under plain cover) – we will need your name and address to do this.
If you're about to start treatment i.e. CBT & ERP and would like some regular support one of our volunteers can arrange to telephone you every week or fortnight from just before you start treatment, throughout your course of CBT to up to a month after you finish. This on-going telephone support is our Next Steps project and you can arrange to have calls at a time/day/frequency that suits you - just ask the Helpline Volunteer about it when you call.
What the Helpline doesn’t do
We cannot give a diagnosis over the phone – this must be done by your GP or a trained mental health professional in person.
We cannot recommend specific treatments, medications etc for you over the phone – this must be done by your mental health professional.
We cannot phone a family member/friend without them having contacted us.
We can't offer strategies or techniques to deal with symptoms (because we're not therapists/trained to/mental health workers).
We don't record phone calls.
Our Helpline is a confidential service and we do not share the details of your call with any other person outside of the organisation.
In extreme circumstances, where there is a real and present threat of harm to a caller or another individual/s, we will break confidentiality. Our Helpline has been operating for over 10 years and to date, we have never needed to do this.
We do allow other Helpline Volunteers, staff or volunteers undergoing Helpline training to listen into a call. This is to help maintain the quality of our service and make sure that new volunteers are fully prepared.
For more information about our service, you can access the following documents: