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2023 OCD Action National Conference
October 7 at 9:30 am - 5:00 pm BST£25 – £40
OCD Action is thrilled to announce the highly anticipated return of our in-person National Conference.
Join us in Central London on Saturday, 7th October, for a day filled with cutting-edge research, expert insights, and powerful discussions on accessing high-quality OCD treatment. Together, we’ll empower ourselves and create meaningful change.
Don’t miss your chance to be part of this transformative event. Secure your place at the conference by purchasing a ticket today.
Who is speaking at the conference?
Prepare to be inspired by an extraordinary lineup of over 30 esteemed speakers, from much-loved community advocates to globally renowned expert clinicians, each bringing their unique expertise and insights to our theme of accessing support and treatment for OCD. Here are just a few of our keynote speakers:
Catherine Benfield, OCD Advocate
Catherine Benfield is a writer and teacher from East London. She runs the OCD website TamingOlivia.com and is currently navigating the film festival circuit with Waving, a short film she produced about OCD and intrusive thoughts starring Ralph Ineson. Catherine first experienced OCD at 5 although it took another 30 years to get a diagnosis. She talks openly about her experiences of upsetting intrusive thoughts and recovery. Catherine has been an OCD Action Trustee since 2023.
Chrissie Hodges, Founder of OCD Gamechangers
Chrissie Hodges is a Certified Peer & Family Support Specialist and renowned mental health advocate. With Treatment for OCD Consulting, she empowers with peer support and invaluable referrals, and as COO of Peer Recovery Services, she’s revolutionising Colorado’s mental health institutions. Chrissie is the founder and executive director of the non-profit ‘OCD Gamechangers’.
Danny Gray, Founder of Just Ask A Question (JAAQ)
Danny Gray is the Founder of Just Ask A Question (JAAQ), a ground-breaking online platform that transforms the way people seek and access expert health advice. JAAQ provides free answers to 50,000 mental wellbeing questions covering various topics including OCD and BDD. It features renowned medical experts like Professor David Veale, Paul Gilbert OBE, and Dr Janet Treasure. With a global presence in 120 countries and partnerships with industry leaders like Adidas and Bupa, JAAQ is at the forefront of digital health support.
Professor David Nutt, Psychiatrist and Neuropharmacologist
Professor David Nutt is a renowned psychiatrist and neuropharmacologist at Imperial College London. He’s led multiple prestigious organisations and serves as the Founding Chair of DrugScience.org.uk. With 40 books and 1000 papers, his groundbreaking research spans anxiety, depression, addiction, and the clinical use of psychedelics. One of his current areas of research is the use of psychedelics in the treatment of OCD.
Professor David Veale, Consultant Clinical Psychiatrist
Professor David Veale is a Consultant Psychiatrist in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust and the Nightingale Hospital. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Department of Psychology, King’s College London. Professor Veale specialises in OCD, BDD, health anxiety and emetophobia. He has been a Trustee of OCD Action since the charity’s inception in 1994.
Duke Al, OCD Advocate
Duke Al is a published poet, rapper, and creative practitioner who finds solace in writing to challenge his OCD. He channels his passion for words and flow to make an impact, one rhyme at a time. He is the author of ‘Bittersweet: The Highs, The Lows, Hypers and Hypos of Living with Type 1 Diabetes’, and has been featured on BBC Wales, BT Sports, BBC Sesh, and more. His work can be found on Instagram and Twitter at @dukealdurham.
Mairéad Ruane, OCD Action Youth Engagement Panellist
Mairéad Ruane is a lived experience mental health activist and assistant producer working in arts and health and mental health charities. Mairéad volunteers as an OCD Action Youth Engagement Panel to co-design and deliver support for young people affected by OCD and related conditions. Mairéad feels driven to involve those with lived experience in service development and media portrayals of the illness to ensure lived experience voices are heard.
Olivia Bamber, OCD Action Helpline Volunteer
Olivia Bamber volunteers on the OCD Action Helpline, having previously been an OCD Action member of staff for several years, working across Media & Comms and the Helpline and Youth services. She’s battled OCD since a young age, but with good treatment and support, she is now able to manage the condition well. Olivia is passionate about using her experiences to raise awareness of OCD and to support others to access high quality treatment.
Dr Rajiv Shah, Consultant Psychiatrist and Medical Psychotherapist
Dr. Rajiv Shah is a distinguished Consultant Psychiatrist and Medical Psychotherapist with a focus on CBT and a specialised interest in OCD and related conditions. With a keen emphasis on trans-diagnostic processes that can complicate treatment, Dr. Shah advocates for lifestyle interventions that foster overall well-being, promoting improvements in both physical and mental health.
Dr Rob Willson, Cognitive Behaviour Therapist
Dr Rob Willson PhD is a cognitive behaviour Therapist based in North London, with a special interest in OCD, BDD and Health Anxiety. He is the chair of the BDD Foundation. Rob has co-authored several books, including the bestselling ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dummies’ and ‘Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder’.
Sam Jones, OCD Advocate
Sam Jones is a neurodivergent actor and certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor with a passion for raising awareness of OCD. Sam has spoken at prominent events like the Mental Health & Wellbeing Show and OCD Gamechangers, has written blog posts for #itaffectsme, and has been featured on The OCD Stories podcast. Most recently, Sam has been working as a crisis practitioner and support worker for Mind, and as a mental health coach in the National Theatre’s production ‘The Ocean At The End Of The Lane.’
Shaun Flores, OCD Action Co-production Panellist
Shaun Flores, a powerful voice in OCD advocacy, was diagnosed with OCD at 27, igniting his mission to raise awareness of OCD and break barriers to treatment, particularly within black communities. Shaun’s journey from ‘survivor to thriver’ with OCD has been featured on BBC Sounds, Metro, and Channel 4, where he fearlessly discusses his mental health journey. Passionate about progressive change, he’s an inspiring advocate and a member of OCD Action’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Co-production Panel for People of Colour.
Dr Sophie Suri, OCD Advocate
Dr. Sophie Suri is an esteemed research associate in the dynamic School of Health and Life Sciences at Teesside University. With a fervent dedication to advancing our understanding of OCD, she serves as a research fellow with the prestigious NIHR. Dr. Suri is also an advocate for the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), championing the voices and experiences of people with OCD. Her current research focuses on the lived experiences of adults with OCD, paving the way for transformative insights.
Stuart Ralph, Founder of The OCD Stories Podcast
Stuart Ralph is a child and adolescent counsellor and psychotherapist who has made a lasting impact on the OCD community. As the founder and host of The OCD Stories podcast, which has garnered over 6 million downloads, Stuart has provided a platform for enlightening conversations and invaluable support. In 2018, he pioneered the first-ever UK camp for people with OCD, situated in the beautiful landscapes of Surrey. Stuart’s commitment to fostering support and understanding continues to inspire the OCD community worldwide.
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