Mental Health Advocates Join Forces to Improve Quality of Care

The International OCD Foundation & Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Academy Create New Comprehensive Training Programs for OCD and related disorders

BOSTON, September 6, 2016 — Leading experts in mental health research and treatment, The International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) and The Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Psychiatry Academy, announced today a collaboration that will launch a comprehensive professional training program for the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and related disorders (BDD, Hoarding Disorder, Trichotillomania, Skin Picking, Tourette’s/Tics and PANDAS/PANS) medical community.

This collaboration will bring forth a curricula and pathway for mental health and medical professionals interested in studying and treating OCD and related disorders. The goal is to arm therapists and clinicians with best practices and to increase the overall number of providers who can effectively treat OCD. The program will provide a comprehensive spectrum of courses for professionals that will be offered online to educate both novices and experts within the OCD community. These training opportunities will broaden the reach to providers and bring new specialists to the field.

“While OCD is a very treatable disorder, there continues to be a gap in accessing effective care by properly trained mental health professionals,” says Jeff Szymanski, PhD, executive director of the IOCDF.  “This partnership with the MGH Psychiatry Academy will have a significant impact in terms of training clinicians on the front lines.”

The IOCDF exists to help individuals with OCD and related disorders to live full and productive lives. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, The International OCD Foundation is the leading advocate for the OCD community. The IOCDF funds OCD research, trains professionals to treat OCD, helps patients access treatment and support, and oversees online resource centers for information on OCD, hoarding disorder, and BDD.

Obsessive compulsive disorder affects some 3 million people in the United States, including children and teens. Though OCD has no cure, its symptoms — which include obsessions and compulsions — can be effectively managed through cognitive behavioral therapy and medication.

“Today’s announcement is an important step in our journey to disseminate treatments for individuals with OCD and related disorders, as many patients with OCD have difficulties accessing empirically-based therapies,” said Sabine Wilhelm, PhD, chief of Psychology and director of the OCD and Related Disorders Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. “The collaboration between the International OCD foundation and the MGH Psychiatry Academy fosters a greater distribution of high quality trainings in the treatment of OCD. Together, we can focus our combined energies on serving a broader range of passionate clinicians seeking to better serve those affected by OC spectrum disorders.”

The IOCDF and the MGH Psychiatry Academy are uniquely positioned to change the way mental health professionals are trained to treat OCD and its related disorders. For more information about the IOCDF visit, For more information about the MGH Psychiatry Academy visit,

About the International OCD Foundation
The International OCD Foundation 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 Massachusetts General Hospital
Massachusetts General Hospital, founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH Research Institute conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the nation, with an annual research budget of more than $800 million and major research centers in HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, computational and integrative biology, cutaneous biology, human genetics, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, regenerative medicine, reproductive biology, systems biology, photomedicine and transplantation biology. The MGH topped the 2015 Nature Index list of health care organizations publishing in leading scientific journals, earned the prestigious 2015 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service. In August 2016 the MGH was once again named to the Honor Roll in the U.S. News & World Report list of “America’s Best Hospitals.”

About the Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Academy
The MGH Psychiatry Academy provides international leadership in education and dissemination of best practices in mental health. Utilizing the faculty and resources of the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry, the MGH Psychiatry Academy works with clinicians, departments, governments, and other entities to improve the mental health of patients worldwide through innovative teaching methods, technology, educational research, and institution level consultation.



Katie Stinchon (for IOCDF)
Noah Brown (for MGH)