Local mom brings OCD awareness into schools

CONTACT: Stephanie Chelf, (617) 269-7171 stephanie@teakmedia.com

Local mom brings OCD awareness into schools
Book donation to help educate families on mental illness

WILMINGTON Del | A Delaware mom has made it her mission to educate schools on the signs of obsessive compulsive disorder

Karen Charles is making sure every school in Delaware has a copy of the children’s book Mr. Worry, A Story About OCD, by Holly Niner, which tells a compassionate tale of a child’s battle with OCD.

For Charles, the cause is personal. She suffered with OCD since she was a young child, and for years she lived in constant pain keeping her consuming rituals from family and friends. She hid her compulsions for more than three decades, until OCD robbed her of the ability to have a normal life. Thankfully with a diagnosis of OCD proper treatment and care Charles has gained her life back .

“I don’t want any children today to suffer like I did and for as long as I did,” said Charles 55. “I had an idea of designing a school in-service program to teach school personnel how to recognize the red flag symptoms of OCD, and thus identify children in need, long before OCD takes over their lives.” Since launching her OCD in the Classroom program, Charles has presented to several schools in Delaware.

To further her goal, Charles has joined into the International OCD Foundation’s OCD Awareness Week effort. During OCD Awareness Week Oct 11-17, 2010, Charles will distribute Mr. Worry books to approximately 179 schools and libraries in the state. She applied for, and won, a grant through the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Delaware to fund OCD in the Classroom and to help purchase books.

“It was at the International OCD Foundation conference in 2008 that I decided to launch this project, so it’s only natural to work with the Foundation during OCD Awareness Week to bring these OCD resources to our local schools,” Charles said.

Across the country, the International OCD Foundation and its affiliates will host live events, lectures, support groups, and other programs to increase OCD education to help end the stigma of mental illness.

For more information on OCD in the Classroom, OCD Awareness Week, and other resources for parents and children visit www.ocfoundation.org or call 617-973-5801.

About the International OCD Foundation.

The International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) is the foremost resource about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and related illnesses. It is an international organization that exists to raise awareness among policy makers and the general public about OCD, educate the mental health community about the latest treatments and research, connect people suffering from OCD with treatment providers, and advance research for more effective treatments. Based in Boston, the IOCDF has affiliates in California, Pennsylvania, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. The IOCDF was founded as the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation in 1986 by a dozen OCD patients at Yale. Today the organization has a $1 million annual operating budget has granted $2.5 million for treatment research, and is a resource for tens of thousands of people. For more information visit www.ocfoundation.org.