Did you know that 1 in 100 adults likely have OCD? And up to 1 in 200 children? That’s a half a million children in the US alone — roughly the same amount who have juvenile diabetes. OCD can be a debilitating disorder, but there is treatment that can help. Unfortunately, it can take up to 14–17 years from the first onset of symptoms for people to get access to effective treatment, due to obstacles such as stigma and a lack of awareness about mental health, and OCD in particular.
OCD Awareness Week is an international effort to raise awareness and understanding about obsessive compulsive disorder and related disorders, with the goal of helping more people to get timely access to appropriate and effective treatment. Launched in 2009 by the IOCDF, OCD Awareness Week is now celebrated by a number of organizations across the US and around the world, with events such as OCD Screening Days, lectures, conferences, fundraisers, online Q&As, and more.
- Find an OCD Awareness Week activity near you.
- Enter the 2014 OCD Awareness Week Video Contest!
- Help Promote OCD Awareness on Social Media.
- Ask the Experts live during our online #OCDchat series, Mon-Fri at 1pm ET during OCD Awareness Week – Line up TBA soon!
- Don’t see an event near you? Host your own OCD Awareness Week activity!
Enter the 2014 OCD Video contest
Each year, we host a creative contest as part of OCD Awareness Week, inviting members of the OCD Community to help spread awareness and understanding through storytelling or art. This year, we are hosting a video contest with the same theme.
We invite anyone to enter. We want to see original videos that help challenge stereotypes, fight stigma, and most importantly, raise awareness about OCD. The videos can be animated shorts, documentaries, short works of fiction — anything you can imagine.
To enter, simply upload an original video of your creation to Youtube and fill out the information below. Please be sure to include the hashtag #OCDWeek as part of your video’s title.
Videos must be no longer than 10 minutes in length, and be appropriate for all audiences (PG-rated). Videos must be uploaded between August 13, 2014 and October 8, 2014 to qualify.
Winning videos will be chosen by popular vote during OCD Awareness Week, and the winner will be announced on Friday, October 19, 2014. The first place video will win a trip to the 22nd Annual OCD Conference in Boston in 2015, including 2-nights hotel stay and roundtrip travel to Boston (domestic travel only, or up to $500 value) and a free conference registration for 1 person.
Join our #OCDchat series
This daily chat series is back for #OCDweek and will feature a different topic and guest expert every day. The chats will take place Monday – Friday at at 1pm ET. Have ideas for chat topics or experts you would like to see participate? Email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org, or look for our poll on the IOCDF Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/IOCDF. For more information about how to participate in the #OCDchat series, click here.
Promote OCD Awareness Week during October 13-19th, 2014 on Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media networks are a great way to spread awareness about OCD and related disorders. By telling your story to your friends and family, you can help dispell myths about mental health disorders, help eliminate stigma, and most importantly, help raise awareness about OCD symptoms, and available treatments. During OCD Awareness Week, there will be a number of ways for you to get involved in the campaign online:
- Join our online chats, every weekday at 12noon ET during OCD Awareness Week. We will be hosting a serious of guest experts during OCD Awareness Week to answer your questions about OCD and related disorders. Got a suggestion for a topic or guest you’d like to see in our online chats? Email your suggestions to email@example.com now! For more information about how to participate in the #OCDchat series, click here.
- Use the #ocdweek hashtag to help get OCD Awareness Week trending on Twitter and Instagram.
- Show you support for Awareness Week by tweeting or sharing a photo of yourself with the 2014 OCD Awareness sign.You can also show your support for OCD Awareness Week on by Facebook and Twitter by changing your profile picture to show a photo of yourself holding our 2014 OCD Awareness Week sign (Coming soon!). In the coming weeks, you will be able to download the PDF and print at home, then snap a picture using your phone or digital camera and upload to social media to show your support. Tweet and Instagram your photo with the hashtag #OCDweek… let’s see if we can get #OCDweek trending!
- Donate your Facebook status during October 13-19th, 2014. Just copy and paste the following:
For OCD Awareness Week, I donate my status in support of anyone who has ever battled this disorder. May they find treatment, comfort and hope. Together we can end the stigma around mental illness. Please copy and paste this as your status to promote the International OCD Foundation’s OCD Awareness Week efforts www.iocdf.org
Other Ways That You Can Participate in OCD Awareness Week
- Send a Letter
Send a Letter to the Editor to your local newspaper about OCD Awareness Week. Please feel free to use this Letter to the Editor template.
- Start an Email Campaign
Consider pasting the below invitation into an email note and sending it to your friends, relatives, and colleagues. You never know whose life you may change forever!
Please forgive the form-letter nature of this note, but I would like to call your attention to the fact that October 13-19, 2014, is OCD Awareness Week. The International OCD Foundation has asked me to help spread the word about this important outreach effort, and I’d like to personally invite you to visit the IOCDF web site for more information about this often-debilitating disorder that affects up to 4 million people in the United States. An overview of OCD, along with a variety of OCD resources, can be found at http://www.iocdf.org/ocdweek. Thank you in advance for taking the time to help make a difference!
Find an OCD Awareness Week activity near you
Check the International OCD Awareness Week Google Calendar below for up-to-the-minute information about activities and events taking place in communities across the globe.
Calendar of 2014 OCD Awareness Week Events
Other Ways to Support the IOCDF
Don’t see an event near you?
Start one! Host an open mic night, organize a pizza fundraiser, arrange to speak at a local school or university, or even just make it your mission to be a social media advocate for the week. We want to you to be a part of this!
- Host a local viewing party to watch OCD-related films, TV shows, or videos.
- Host your own House Party to raise awareness and funds for the OCD community.
- Host an event or fundraiser at a local community center or library, such as a lecture with local OCD expert, a storytelling/open mic night, an art exhibit, support groups, etc.
- Be a mentor and friend to someone with OCD.