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As recent comments across mainstream media have shown, far too many people still think OCD means being neat, tidy, clean and organised. We need to say to them, 'think again!'. We need to tell them that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a seriously debilitating condition, which leads to sufferers frequently having unwanted debilitating intrusive thoughts, rendering day-to-day life a living nightmare. That's OCD!
This is exactly why OCD-UK is once again promoting OCD Awareness Week, from 9-15th October, to give people a platform to ensure their voice is heard.
OCD Awareness Week is a global effort to raise awareness and understanding about OCD, with the goal of educating people and working towards removing the misunderstanding and stigma often caused by the misrepresentation of OCD. Launched in 2009 by the International OCD Foundation (a US based charity), OCD Awareness Week is now promoted by a number of organisations across the world, and OCD-UK are delighted to be taking the lead here in the UK. This year we are also thrilled to have the support of a new global mental health charity, The Shaw Mind Foundation who have partnered with us for OCD Awareness Week.
We have already generated some media interest to feature OCD during OCD Awareness Week. In addition to this, here is what we are doing each day of OCD Awareness Week.
This is where you can get involved. If all of our supporters, and everyone with an interest in OCD shared/retweeted one, or all of the facts/myths we will publish daily, then our reach to change perceptions and opinions about OCD could be globally significant. If you're feeling comfortable enough, then telling your social media followers about your own experiences of OCD could have an even bigger impact. Talking about our OCD is not easy, but only by sharing our experiences, even when it is uncomfortable and embarrassing to do so, can we start to changes people's opinions and perception about OCD.
Another way you can get involved is ask permission to display a poster in your school, university, office or any other public building during OCD Awareness Week.
Remember, we all have the ability to influence change!
We will also be writing (again) to media outlets (including Channel 4) to remind them of their responsibilities in the reporting/use of the OCD term and the damage misuse causes.
For more information about accessing posters, placards and social media images please visit our OCD Awareness Week resource page here.
THANK YOU This really is a team effort, but we would like to acknowledge the help and support of OCD-UK volunteer Gemma and the team at the Shaw Mind Foundation and Ian and Catherine of Fusion Graphic Design in Newark, Nottinghamshire.