International OCD Awareness Week: October 9–15, 2016

Did you know that 1 in 100 adults likely have OCD? And up to 1 in 200 children? That’s a half a million children in the US alone. OCD can be a debilitating disorder, but there is treatment that can help. Unfortunately, it can take up to 14–17 years from the first onset of symptoms for people to get access to effective treatment, due to obstacles such as stigma and a lack of awareness about mental health, and OCD in particular.

OCD Awareness Week is an international effort to raise awareness and understanding about obsessive compulsive disorder and related disorders, with the goal of helping more people to get timely access to appropriate and effective treatment. Launched in 2009 by the IOCDF, OCD Awareness Week is now celebrated by a number of organizations across the US and around the world, with events such as OCD screening days, lectures, conferences, fundraisers, online Q&As, and more.

OCD Awareness Week takes place during the second full week of October each year, and this year it’s October 9–15, 2016.

#OCDweek Programs & Events

#OCDweek YouTube Challenge

Each year, we host a creative contest as part of OCD Awareness Week, inviting members of the OCD Community to help spread awareness and understanding through storytelling or art. In 2014, we began hosting a video contest with the same theme. It has been a great success, and so we are doing it again for 2016! Check out last year’s finalists here for inspiration.

Click here to learn more.

Join our #OCDchat Series

This daily chat series is back for #OCDweek featuring different topics and guest experts every day. The chats will take place Monday–Friday at 1pm ET. A  full chat schedule, list of guest experts, and more information on how to participate in the #OCDchat series will be available soon.

Find an OCD Awareness Week Activity Near You

Check the International OCD Awareness Week Calendar (coming soon) for up-to-the-minute information about activities and events taking place in communities across the globe. Submit an event for the 2016 calendar here.
Don’t see an event near you?
Start one! Host an open mic night, organize a pizza fundraiser, arrange to speak at a local school or university, or just make it your mission to be a social media advocate for the week. We want you to be part of this!

Promote OCD Awareness Week October 9-15th, 2016, on Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media networks are a great way to spread awareness about OCD and related disorders. By telling your story to your friends and family, you can help dispel myths about mental health disorders, eliminate stigma, and most importantly, raise awareness about OCD symptoms and available treatments. During OCD Awareness Week, there are a number of ways you can get involved online:

  • Join our #OCDchats, taking place every weekday at 1 pm ET, from October 10-14th. We will be hosting a series of guest experts during OCD Awareness Week who can answer your questions about OCD and related disorders. Schedule coming soon!
  • twibbonUse the #OCDweek hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to help get OCD Awareness Week trending!
  • Show you support for Awareness Week by tweeting or sharing a photo of yourself with the 2016 OCDweek sign (coming soon). Just download the PDF and print at home, then snap a picture using your phone or digital camera and upload to social media to show your support. Make sure that any tweets and Instagram posts include the hashtag #OCDweek. Let’s see if we can get #OCDweek trending!
  • Change your Facebook or Twitter profile picture to show your support for OCD Awareness by using our exclusive #OCDweek “Twibbon.” 2016 Twibbon coming soon!
  • Donate your Facebook status October 9-15th, 2016. Feel free to copy and paste the following if you’re not sure what to say:

For OCD Awareness Week, I donate my status in support of anyone who has ever battled this disorder. May they find treatment, comfort, and hope. Together we can end the stigma around mental illness. Please copy and paste this as your status to promote the International OCD Foundation’s OCD Awareness Week efforts. Learn more at www.iocdf.org. #OCDweek

  • Become a fan of the International OCD Foundation on Facebook.
  • Follow the International OCD Foundation on Twitter.
  • Find the International OCD Foundation on Instagram.

Other Ways That You Can Participate in OCD Awareness Week

Don’t see an event near you? Start one! Host an open mic night, organize a pizza fundraiser, arrange to speak at a local school or university, or just make it your mission to be a social media advocate for the week. We want you to be part of this!

Send a letter
Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about OCD Awareness Week. Please feel free to use this letter to the editor template.

Start an email campaign
Consider pasting the invitation below into an email and sending it to your friends, relatives, and colleagues. You never know whose life you may change forever!

Dear friends,

Please forgive the form-letter nature of this note, but I would like to call your attention to the fact that October 9-15, 2016, is OCD Awareness Week. The International OCD Foundation has asked me to help spread the word about this important outreach effort. I’d like to personally invite you to visit the IOCDF web site for more information about this often-debilitating disorder that affects up to 4 million people in the United States. An overview of OCD, along with a variety of OCD resources, can be found at http://www.iocdf.org/ocdweek. Thank you in advance for taking the time to help make a difference!

Sincerely, 
Your Name

Other Ways to Support the IOCDF