Why We Walk
Shorten the time to proper diagnosis, improve access to treatment, and increase the number of trained therapists.
Provide education about what OCD and related disorders actually are through our websites, Conference Series, and Peace of Mind Virtual Programming.
Engage the entire OCD and related disorders community to advocate and educate in order to reduce stigma!
Walk in Your Local Community!
Walks co-hosted by the IOCDF and its nationwide Affiliates will take place across the country in June and October. Join us at an in-person OCD Walk or walk with us in spirit through the grassroots Community Walk.
Together we walk to ensure that no one affected by OCD and related disorders suffers alone.
I walk so that one day, OCD will be as recognizable as a common cold, so that people don't need to go years wondering why they have such terrifying thoughts and feel compelled to compulsion. I walk so that treatment providers will be well-educated about proper OCD treatment, and people can get help as soon as they need it.
IOCDF Advocate and OCD Walk Participant
For someone like me, who was struggling with OCD to a debilitating degree and lived in isolation, the idea of publicly denouncing the shame that OCD instills was a liberating thought. I knew I had to be part of this movement in any way that I could! The grassroots Community Walk allowed me and those unable to attend in Boston to participate on the official walk day wherever they were located!
IOCDF Advocate and OCD Walk Participant
It's so nice to be with people who understand the challenges of having OCD or loving someone with OCD. The sense of community at the Walk is just tremendous.
IOCDF Board Member
These days mental health challenges are getting more attention, but people with OCD and their families often feel very isolated. The One Million Steps for OCD Walk is an important reminder that we are not alone and that help is available. When my daughter and I participated in the Walk, there was a feeling of joy in the air. How wonderful to be seen and accepted.
OCD Walk Participant
Don't see an OCD Walk near you? Register for the grassroots Community Walk! Our grassroots Community Walk allows you to participate in the One Million Steps for OCD Walk from your own neighborhood, even if there isn't an in-person event near you.
Everyone who registers by September 1, 2023 will receive a commemorative OCD Walk T-shirt shipped to them directly by the end of the month. Whether you walk on your own or gather a group of friends and family in your neighborhood during the month of October, wear your shirt proudly as you raise awareness and funds for the OCD community.
The IOCDF will once again offer sponsorship opportunities that provide National visibility, as well as local visibility at the flagship Boston Walk. OCD Walk sponsors are promoted in a variety of mediums, including*:
- Registration pages for the 30+ national OCD Walks
- Flyers (digital and print)
- Marketing emails
- Social media
- OCD Walk T-shirts (an attendee favorite!)
- Promotional giveaways
- Emcee recognition
- Inclusion in press materials
*Eligibility based on sponsorship level. Higher-visibility sponsorships are limited in quantity and opportunities are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
In 2012, Denis Asselin walked over 500 miles — or roughly one million steps — from his home in Cheyney, PA, to Boston, MA, in memory of his son Nathaniel. Nathaniel took his own life at just 24, after a long struggle with severe body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and OCD. After Nathaniel’s death, Denis decided to embark on a pilgrimage to honor Nathaniel and to raise awareness about the disorder that stole his young son’s life. On June 5, 2012, Denis completed his walk in Boston, and was greeted by staff of the International OCD Foundation, as well as friends, family, and members of the OCD community at a rally honoring Denis and supporting OCD and BDD awareness. To carry on this tradition, the One Million Steps for OCD Walk was created the following year in the same spirit of raising awareness, funds, and hope. It is in this spirit of hope that we invite you to join us.