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What one faith leader learned attending last year’s Faith & OCD Conference

Did you know that many people living with OCD initially seek assistance from a faith leader prior to a mental health provider? 

On Monday, May 9th, the International OCD Foundation will host our second annual Faith & OCD Conference! Faith leaders, mental health professionals, and the OCD Community will come together to talk about the impact of “Religious OCD” (Scrupulosity) how to recognize when someone is struggling, and ways to support those in the faith community living with OCD.

If you’re a faith leader who is wondering if it’s worth your time to attend, Reverend Lauren Buck Medeiros of the Punahou School in Honolulu will tell you all you need to know in this interview!  

Why did you decide to attend last year’s Faith & OCD Conference? 

The topic was compelling to me as a chaplain in a K-12 school setting. I am always interested in supporting students of every faith tradition in living their best lives. I was also eager to learn about how OCD and other emotional/psychological challenges may have been exacerbated by the isolation occasioned by pandemic policies and directives.

What was memorable about the experience for you?

Incredibly knowledgeable presenters, valuable information, useful resources, caring offers for further support were the most memorable. But I could say that about any number of webinars and zoom conferences. What stood out for me was the new awareness of the incredibly fraught practices and teachings from religious communities which have contributed to the heavy challenges for those struggling with OCD and scrupulosity.  It felt amazing to think that there are hopeful resources and practices available to those struggling with OCD and for their families and faith leaders as well!

What did you learn that you feel you were able to benefit from? 

First and foremost, I learned that there is good help available! Conferences, resources, support groups, and ongoing connections with people who are passionately dedicated to healing, health, and hope!

What can other faith leaders who attend hope to take away?

A better understanding of OCD, a clear consideration of how the gifts of faith can be misused or distorted, AND some practical ideas to address these in the service of understanding and love.

The second annual Faith & OCD Conference will take place virtually on Monday, May 9th, 2022 at 12pm ET for faith leaders, mental health professionals, and the OCD Community. Register to connect with others navigating OCD in diverse faith-based communities.

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