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OCCleaners - The Times get it, so why not others?

Blog written by 'Ashley Fulwood' 13th October 2014.

Last Sunday in the round up of the week’s TV ahead, The Times published the following.

Left feeling grubby

Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners (C4, 8pm) Watching obsessive compulsive disorder sufferers with a cleaning fixation being sent to transform the houses of hoarders is an uncomfortable business for everyone involved. The hoarders are made to feel disgusting and the OCD cleaners are put through mental torture (often physical, too — breaking out in sweats and panic). Then there is the audience, also squirming at the jaunty tone of the programme’s voice-over and the exploitation of people with (in some cases) diagnosed mental-health disorders. It is shameful that this has been given a third series.

So if The Times can call it, why haven’t other anxiety and mental health organisations and charities that are meant to represent people with OCD called it? Perhaps there is a fear of upsetting partnerships with Channel 4, something SLaM admitted to us last year, or perhaps they don’t want to risk upsetting participants who fundraise for their charity or maybe, just maybe as someone wrote in our magazine last year it’s simply because OCD remains the ‘poor cousin of mental health’.

A year ago when supermarkets stocked ‘psycho ward’ fancy dress costumes for Halloween all the large mental health charities publically slammed those supermarkets, as they did a month ago when a retailer make the mistake of stocking a greetings card which mocked Bi-Polar. So why are they refusing to speak out against channel 4 over a programme which is just as, if not more damaging than those costumes and greeting card?

Last week Professor Paul Salkovskis pushed some of these organisations directly and urged them to come off the fence about this Channel 4 programme, and yet they’re still stubbornly perched on that fence in blissful silence instead of shouting from the rooftops that Channel 4 are still getting this wrong. Tomorrow will be a week since the first programme in the new series was broadcast and other than OCD-UK no anxiety or mental health charity have spoken out this week, so it was refreshing to see that The Times got it, and called it. I can only repeat my earlier question, why not others?

OCD matters for almost a million people in this country and as someone remarked this week, thank goodness OCD-UK care enough to speak out publically.

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