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The IOCDF Advocate Program is a volunteer grassroots effort designed to empower those in the community to raise awareness and educate the public about OCD and related disorders.

Led by National Advocates Ethan Smith and Dr. Liz McIngvale, the IOCDF Advocates lead the community in various advocacy projects, such as our OCD Awareness Week initiatives, awareness-raising PSAs, inspirational social media content, and much more.


Those who wish to join the National Advocate Program are invited to learn more and take the IOCDF Grassroots Advocate Pledge. Once you take the pledge, you will be sent monthly newsletters with action items, including invitations to participate in Advocate-led projects. Of course, feel free to create your own initiatives and email us your ideas at info@iocdf.org!

What does the IOCDF Advocate Program look like?

IOCDF Advocate Program is organized into four levels:

Our National Advocates, Lead Advocates, and IOCDF Advocates meet regularly to brainstorm projects and action items before enlisting the help of the IOCDF Grassroots Advocates. Learn more about the different Advocate levels below!

Meet our National Advocates

Our National Advocates Ethan Smith and Dr. Liz McIngvale are the leaders of the IOCDF Advocate Program.

Together, they organize the Advocates in various initiatives and represent the International OCD Foundation on the national level. Ethan and Liz each host weekly live streams as part of the IOCDF's Peace of Mind Virtual Community resources.


Meet our Lead Advocates

Our Lead Advocates are those who have been recognized as leaders within the IOCDF Advocate Program. They are charged with developing projects that fall within their interest area before engaging the IOCDF Advocates and IOCDF Grassroots Advocates.

Our current Lead Advocates are: Chris Trondsen, Valerie Andrews, Thomas Smalley, and Shala Nicely.


Meet the IOCDF Advocates

IOCDF Advocates are strong and dedicated leaders in the OCD community. Advocates work together as a group, with direction from their Lead Advocates as well as National Advocates and the IOCDF staff, and they help to direct the Grassroots Advocates, as well as serving as a point of contact for those within their community.

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Become an IOCDF Grassroots Advocate

By taking our IOCDF Grassroots Advocate pledge, any member of the community is invited to become an Advocate.

Each month, our IOCDF Advocates will reach out to Grassroots Advocates via a "Marching Orders" newsletter, including challenges, projects, and ways you can join them to work together and make a big impact. Examples of Marching Orders may include:

  • Participate in online (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) social media campaigns
  • Participate in on-site “calls to action" (e.g., conference-based projects)
  • Participate in coordinated national events (e.g., 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walks, OCD Awareness Week events)
  • Contribute to a blog or newsletter feature
  • Opportunities to display your support of the IOCDF (e.g., “Proud IOCDF Advocate” badges, stickers)