At the IOCDF, we get many inquiries from folks who either have OCD, love a person with OCD, or treat a person with OCD, who want to know what they can do to help. The truth is, there are so many ways you can advocate for the community, within your community—and we’ve got plenty of resources to help make it easy.
Read on to find out more.
1. Fight Stigma with Facts
We’ve all heard OCD thrown around in everyday life: “I like to organize my sock drawer by color/brand/pattern; I’m so OCD!” As advocates, we know this type of misuse minimizes what OCD sufferers truly go through and perpetuates stigma. Visit our #RealOCD Resource Center to find out what you can do the next time you hear someone misuse “OCD.”
2. Join the Discussion about OCD
Just when you think you’re alone in your thoughts, you realize you’re not. There’s something powerful about joining and contributing to a community and realizing you’re not the only one. Share your experience with others in IOCDF's "My OCD" Community on HealthUnlocked; you never know who you’ll inspire on your road to recovery!
3. Start a Local Support Group
Take community building one step further, and start a support group where you live. While there are active support groups out there, there are still many areas without any. Though the thought of running your own support group might sound overwhelming, it’s definitely doable, and can be extremely rewarding. Visit our Support Group Startup Guide to get going.
4. Get Involved Locally
It can be gratifying to affect change within your own hometown. IOCDF Affiliates are nonprofits that carry out the mission of the International OCD Foundation at the local level across the US, through programs and events. Get in touch with your local IOCDF Affiliate to raise awareness or funding for OCD resources within your own community.
5. Advocate at the State & National Levels
As state representatives and senators consider changes to mental health public policy, they need to hear from you! Visit the Virtual Voices Action Center to find the latest bills in the US Congress that support the needs of the OCD and related disorders community, and contact your local elected officials with the click of a button (truly!).
6. Get Active Around the Globe
If you live outside the US and want to find out about ways to get involved in your country, check out our Global Partner Organizations. These partners work towards raising OCD awareness and build resources in their area.
7. Host a Discussion in Your Community
When we give mental illness a face, we get more people to understand and care. That’s why we created a step-by-step “OCDare to Share” Host Guide to help you lead a community conversation about OCD with confidence and ease. You don’t need a stage to teach your community the facts about OCD; simply download the guide, pick a place to meet, invite those around you, and get started!
8. Raise Awareness in Your School
We know that OCD is very common in children and can take a tremendous toll on school performance and social functioning. Faculty, parents/guardians, and students can access the Anxiety in the Classroom Training Center to download pre-made presentations to raise awareness at school. Topics include everything from the basics ("What are Anxiety and OCD?") to techniques ("Anxiety and OCD Management Strategies").
9. Speak at an IOCDF Conference
Those with lived experience and their supporters have valuable insights to share that can be incredibly helpful and healing to others in the OCD community. Submit a proposal to speak at one of our upcoming events, including virtual and in-person conferences. What presentations, workshops, support groups, and activities would you like to see?
10. Become an IOCDF Grassroots Advocate
Being an IOCDF Grassroots Advocate means joining a community of people who want to raise awareness and educate the public about OCD and related disorders. Join our Grassroots Advocates to receive a monthly communication with challenges, projects, and other ways to make an impact right now.