BOSTON, May 24, 2016 — The International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) is pleased to announce the 4th Annual 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk in Boston on June 4, 2016, at Jamaica Pond. The walk aims to raise awareness about obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), a mental health disorder that affects over 2 million adults and a half million children in the U.S. alone.
Massachusetts state Rep. Liz Malia will be leading the way at this year’s Walk as Grand Marshal for the festivities. Malia is a longtime legislative advocate and champion for mental health issues, and serves as chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse. Malia has led efforts to improve access to mental health and substance abuse services, key priorities shared by those in the OCD community.
“I look forward to kicking off the 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk that raises awareness and brings visibility to an often invisible and misunderstood mental health disorder,” says Rep. Malia. “These types of community-building events are powerful and important because they allow folks to more deeply understand mental health conditions and help to dispel stereotypes, misconceptions, and any stigma associated with them.”
Boston joins three other cities hosting the IOCDF’s 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk on June 4th —Atlanta, GA; Oakland, CA; and Houston, TX. The walks are all part of a national effort to raise awareness about OCD and break the stigma surrounding mental illness and raise funds to support the important work of the IOCDF.
“OCD affects 1 in 100 adults, but it is still little understood in the general public,” explains Jeff Szymanski, PhD, executive director of the IOCDF. “This walk is about building a community of support — and making sure people know how to access the resources and support they need.”
The Walk is open to people of all ages in the Boston area — visit www.iocdf.org/walk to learn more.
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. The IOCDF has a $2 million annual operating budget, 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 www.iocdf.org.
Director of Communications & Marketing, International OCD Foundation