Patient Advocates Break Stigma and Raise Awareness for OCD Awareness Week

The International OCD Foundation’s awareness week will launch with a cross-country public awareness tour in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Boston and Atlanta October 8-15, 2016

HOUSTON, September 20, 2016 — In a first, the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) hits the open road to raise awareness and breakdown stigma surrounding the illness. The OCDweek Road Trip to Recovery Tour will include stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Boston and Atlanta during International OCD Awareness Week, October 8–15.

International OCD Awareness Week serves as a worldwide effort to raise awareness about obsessive compulsive disorder and its related disorders. This year, professor, researcher and social worker Dr. Elizabeth McIngvale, PhD, media personality and author Jeff Bell, and writer and director Ethan S. Smith — will travel across the US to share their personal stories of living with OCD. Sponsored by the International OCD Foundation and the Peace of Mind Foundation, the goal of the public awareness tour is to counter the powerful misconceptions and stigmas that surround the mental illness and offer resources for individuals who may be suffering.

In popular culture, the term OCD has become a casual acronym for “perfectionist” or “neat,” something very different from the stark reality of the mental health disorder that affects the lives of nearly 3 million people in the US, including children and teens. Although OCD has no cure, its symptoms — which include obsessions and compulsions — can be effectively managed through cognitive behavioral therapy and medication. The IOCDF exists to ensure that everyone has access to the same quality care and treatment to live full and productive lives.

Launched by the IOCDF and held annually during the second week in October, #OCDWeek, is now celebrated by thousands of organizations around the globe. Events include lectures, conferences, fundraisers, online Q&As, special film screenings and more.

This year, multiple events will be held in each city featuring local and state officials, health care workers, mental health advocates and the IOCDF spokespeople. Each city on the OCDweek Road Trip to Recovery Tour will have a specific focus with events taking place around a theme:

  • October 8: San Francisco, CA — Pediatric OCD: Events to include a mini-conference featuring panel discussions about OCD in childhood and support groups for parents and children
  • October 9–10: Los Angeles, CA & Irvine, CA — Breaking the Myths of OCD: Events to include a town hall meeting, educational talk and OCD exposure demonstration
  • October 11–12: Houston, TX — Putting Stigma to Rest: Events to include a mini conference about OCD, mentor groups, and the Putting Stigma to Rest event at Gallery Furniture
  • October 13–14: Boston, MA — Relapse Prevention: Events to include lunch with legislators at the Massachusetts State House, visiting a local treatment program and an evening event honoring the IOCDF’s 30th anniversary
  • October 15: Atlanta, GA — OCD and Addiction: Events include to include OCD educational training and OCD and addiction training series for professionals.

For more information on the scheduled events, location and times in each city and how to participate please visit,

About the International OCD Foundation

The International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) is celebrating its 30th anniversary as a donor-supported nonprofit organization, working to increase access to effective treatment, end the stigma associated with mental health issues and foster a community for those affected by OCD and the professionals who treat them. Based in Boston, the IOCDF has affiliates in 22 states and territories, as well as 11 global partners. With its $2 million annual operating budget, the IOCDF has granted millions of dollars for OCD research and is a vital resource for the estimated 1 in 100 individuals with OCD around the world. For more information, visit

About Peace of Mind

The Peace of Mind Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to help improve the quality of life of OCD sufferers and caregivers through education, research, support, and advocacy. Founded by the Linda and Jim McIngvale family at the request of their daughter Elizabeth. The Foundation created and fully subsidizes the OCD Challenge, a free online self-help website for individuals suffering from OCD.


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