International OCD Awareness Week — October 14–20th, 2013
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 — roughly the same amount who have juvenile diabetes. 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.
Some event ideas:
Enter the 2013 OCD Awareness Week Creative Expression contest
Open to submissions in creative writing (fiction, non-fiction, and poetry), songs/music, photography, paintings, drawings, videos, and other media. Two winners will be selected by votes from the IOCDF community, and will win a trip to the 21st Annual OCD Conference in Los Angeles in 2014, including airfare from anywhere in the continental US* and a 3-night hotel stay at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. Contest submission deadline is October 4th, 2013. CLICK HERE TO ENTER.
*Up to a $500 value. Contest participants from outside the continental US are eligible to enter, and will receive a $500 credit towards airfare to Los Angeles for the 21st Annual OCD Conference, but will be responsible for raising funds to cover the remainder of the airfare.
This daily chat series is back for #OCDweek and will feature a different topic and guest expert every day. The chats will take place at 12 noon ET. Have ideas for chat topics or experts you would like to see participate? Email your ideas to email@example.com
, or look for our poll on the IOCDF Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/IOCDF
. For more information about how to participate in the #OCDchat series, click here
Join the discussion in the online OCD Book Festival. OCD Texas
is hosting an OCD Book Festival in the weeks leading up to OCD Awareness Week. This “virtual” book festival is open to anyone, anywhere to participate. Books are available for purchase online or in bookstores; shorts are posted for you to read for free. Join the online discussions and author Q&A's, now through Awareness Week. Visit ocdbookfestival.org
for more info. You can even host your own "Book Club" event at your home to discuss some of the selected books.
Find an OCD Awareness Week activity near you
Check the International OCD Awareness Week Google Calendar for up-to-the-minute information about activities and events taking place in communities across the globe.
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 even just make it your mission to be a social media advocate for the week. We want to you to be a part of this!
- Host a local viewing party to watch OCD-related films, TV shows, or videos.
- Host your own House Party to raise awareness and funds for the OCD community. Click here to learn more.
- Host an event or fundraiser at a local community center or library, such as a lecture with local OCD expert, a storytelling/open mic night, an art exhibit, support groups, etc.
- Be a mentor and friend to someone with OCD.
Promote OCD Awareness Week during October 14-20th, 2013 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 dispell myths about mental health disorders, help eliminate stigma, and most importantly, help raise awareness about OCD symptoms, and available treatments. During OCD Awareness Week, there will be a number of ways for you to get involved in the campaign online:
- Join our online chats, every weekday at 12noon ET during OCD Awareness Week. We will be hosting a serious of guest experts during OCD Awareness Week to answer your questions about OCD and related disorders. Got a suggestion for a topic or guest you'd like to see in our online chats? Email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org now! For more information about how to participate in the #OCDchat series, click here.
- Use the #ocdweek hashtag to help get OCD Awareness Week trending on Twitter and Instagram. Last year we asked our followers to download and print out a OCD Awareness Week sign (thank you to OCD-UK for the inspiration) to take a picture (aka, "selfie) with to post on their social media profiles. This year, we are creating new signs based on the theme, “I really am so OCD.” We hope to use this message to build on the discussions we have been having with the IOCDF community via social media to break down societal misperceptions and stigma around OCD. The new 2014 signs will be available to download and print out the week before awareness week.
We have three different signs you can use to help raise awareness about OCD. Popular culture is fond of using the phrase "I'm sooo OCD" to mean someone who is a perfectionist or a neatnik. But rarely do people understand what it really means to have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. These signs are meant to shed light on the real meaning of OCD. Choose your favorite sign to download and share with your social media networks, or even hang on an office or school bulletin board.
- Show you support for Awareness Week by tweeting or sharing a photo of yourself with the OCD Awareness sign.You can also show your support for OCD Awareness Week on by Facebook and Twitter by changing your profile picture to show a photo of yourself holding our 2013 OCD Awareness Week sign (Coming soon!). In the coming weeks, you will be able to 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. Tweet and Instagram your photo with the hashtag #OCDweek... let's see if we can get #OCDweek trending!
- Donate your Facebook status during October 14-20th, 2013.
Just copy and paste the following: 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 www.iocdf.org
Other Ways That You Can Participate in OCD Awareness Week
- Send a Letter
Send a Letter to the Editor to 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 below invitation into an email note and sending it to your friends, relatives, and colleagues. You never know whose life you may change forever!
Please forgive the form-letter nature of this note, but I would like to call your attention to the fact that October 14–20, 2013, is OCD Awareness Week. The International OCD Foundation has asked me to help spread the word about this important outreach effort, and 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!
Map of 2013 OCD Awareness Week Events
If you are having trouble viewing the map above please click here to open the map in a new window.
Calendar of 2013 OCD Awareness Week Events
Other Ways to Support the IOCDF