Highlighting the debilitating impact of OCD through media participation remains a crucial part of our mission to improve understanding and raise awareness of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Our mission however is superseded by our intent to ensure the well-being and dignity of any participants taking part in media work on our behalf. This policy of participant well-being remains our priority when working on television or other media projects, even if it means on occasion we decline to work with a journalist or production team. Whenever we are approached by television production companies to seek our support in helping promote their production, we never proceed until checking on the credentials of those involved, and seeking assurances on their duty of care policy, this is done to ensure the welfare of those that agree to take part. We hope that our policy ensures that our OCD community can take confidence in participation in projects that OCD-UK endorse.
We have recently spent some time talking to two different production companies and researchers looking to produce two completely different programme about OCD for BBC Three Mental Health Awareness Week. We are keen to support both projects , and have agreed to work with them both to help find participants, purely for research purposes at this stage. Anyone agreeing to help by talking to the researchers would not be under any obligation to participate in filming if they do not feel totally comfortable about the project.
Please scroll below for further details of the two projects, the first by Watershed TV and the second by Firecracker Films.
OCD-UK today remain extremely disappointed that, despite our lengthy discussions with them, Channel 4 are continuing with their plans to broadcast a series of programmes which falsely gives the impression that people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder somehow gain pleasure from their compulsive cleaning. We feel that this not only trivialises the severity of those that suffer with contamination obsessive fears, but also adds further to the misconception that OCD is primarily about cleaning compulsions. This misrepresentation about what OCD is all about can only lead to increased stigma for those that suffer.
Next week (13th Feb, 9pm), Channel 4 launch the first of a six part series called Obsessive-Compulsive Cleaners, which follows a lady, that the channel 4 programme describe to be obsessed with cleaning so much that she setup an agency to recruit what the programme call ‘Compulsive Cleaners’. The programme description goes on to suggest that people with OCD that are compulsive cleaners have a special set of skills and a gift for cleaning that could change the habits of the nation, and in the programme Linda Dykes, sets out to recruit an army of obsessive compulsive cleaners to help clean Britain's dirty homes and filthy public spaces.
Whilst we are yet to see the programme, despite a request to do so, we are incredibly concerned that the title and emphasis of the programme might add to the wholly inaccurate and false stereotype that OCD is purely about people that clean. In fact, the direct opposite is true, the NICE guidelines for OCD suggest one study showed that only 26.5% of people with OCD actually have cleaning compulsions, and that figure goes down further in other parts of the world. In fact, people with OCD that do have contamination/cleaning issues find it incredibly disabling and actually get no pleasure what-so-ever from their compulsive rituals.
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