International OCD Foundation Announces the Mental Health Advocacy Capital Walk on October 6th to Kick-Off OCD Awareness Week

This year, to kick-off OCD Awareness Week, the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) will invite members of the broader mental health community, including related mental health organizations, to come together at the National Mall in Washington D.C. to advocate and raise awareness at the Mental Health Advocacy Capital Walk.

Washington, DC, September 11, 2018 --( October 7 – 13th is OCD Awareness Week, an annual event that was started by the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) to change popular misconceptions about obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Thanks to community programs and events around the globe, OCD Awareness Week has continued to grow. This year, to kick-off #OCDweek, the IOCDF will invite members of the broader mental health community to come together at the National Mall in Washington, DC to advocate and raise awareness at the Mental Health Advocacy Capital Walk.

Last year, the IOCDF and OCD Mid-Atlantic hosted the first-ever OCD Capital Walk as part of OCD Awareness Week. This year, they are building upon this movement by creating walk that not only advocates for OCD, but mental health as a whole.

“We feel that the walk will add tremendous momentum to OCD Awareness Week by inviting all members of the mental health community to come together in one place with the goal of raising awareness and advocating for resources, not only for OCD and related disorders, but for mental health as a whole,” said Jeff Szymanski, PhD, executive director of the International OCD Foundation.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 adults in the US experiences mental illness in a given year, and 18% of adults in the US have experienced an anxiety disorder such as OCD, PTSD, and phobias. It is critical that anyone and everyone who experiences mental illness has access to the resources and support that they need in order to manage these conditions and live full and productive lives.

The IOCDF began OCD Awareness Week in 2009 in an effort to help more people understand the disorder and find effective treatment. Now in its 11th year, OCD Awareness Week has been celebrated by a number of organizations across the US and around the world, with events such as webinars, Ask the Expert panels, and grassroots fundraisers. Through the Walk, the IOCDF hopes to provide an opportunity for all members of the mental health community to participate in this important week.

This year, the Walk will be held on Saturday, October 6th at the National Mall in Washington D.C., to kick off the 2018 OCD Awareness Week. The Walk will be open to all members of the OCD and related disorders community, and members of the larger mental health community, and will serve as a new opportunity to unite and grow our voice around the need for mental health advocacy.

Some of the partnering mental health organizations that will be participating in the Walk this year include the Tourette Association of America (TAA), The TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors, and the PANDAS Network, and many others are expected to join.

The goal of the Walk will be to:

  1. Increase public awareness about mental health conditions, their impact on all those affected, and resources available;
  2. Build a broader mental health community consisting of those living with a variety of mental health conditions and those who support them, and
  3. Provide tools for individuals to advocate for the mental health community – both for themselves and in their local and larger governments – as they seek out treatment and additional support.

To learn more, donate, and register to attend the Mental Health Advocacy Capital Walk, visit today.

For more information about this year’s OCD Awareness Week, including a full schedule of more events taking place online throughout the week, please visit

International OCD Foundation
Meghan Buco