October is here already, and what better way to start the month than to tell you our plans for this year’s OCD Awareness Week (8th-14th October) and World Mental Health Day (10th October)!
Media & Awareness
A few weeks ago, popular news outlet - The London Evening Standard - began releasing a series of video documentaries about what life is like living in a city with a mental health condition.
The series, entitled Mental Health in the Metropolis, was created by video journalist Alex Gatenby, who feels passionately about mental health campaigning. The series she created has given a real insight into the daily lives of those battling mental ill health, and has raised awareness about a range of conditions. Much to our delight, one of these videos focused on OCD.
As part of #InternationalDayofHappiness, Bradford Grammar School (BGS) have launched a new campaign today, 'Spotlight on Happiness'.
This campaign focuses on this ‘whole school approach’ and features an in-depth look across ‘Well-being and Mental Health’ as well as other areas, for example, ‘Creativity and the Arts’, ‘Community Outreach and Enrichment’, ‘Sport and Healthy Living’ and ‘Personalised Teaching’.
BGS Headmaster, Simon Hinchliffe explains how the campaign came about:
Raising awareness of OCD is one of the Charitys key objectives, and throughout the year we work closely with the media to ensure OCD is accurately portrayed. Although we feel we are making progress, there are still too many occasions when OCD is not portrayed correctly. The damage this can cause to those living with the condition is huge. We are passionate about changing these misconceptions, and banishing stigma altogether, so that no one living with OCD feels ashamed to speak out and get the support and treatment they so rightly deserve.
Some of you may know the lovely Aron Bennett, who has previously volunteered with OCD Action for many years. As well as his dedication to supporting others with the condition, Aron has also written two books about his experiences of living with OCD and anxiety. A Day in My Head is Aron's latest project, but this time, there are close to 100 authors involved (including some of the staff and volunteers at the Charity!). We asked Aron to tell us a bit about A Day in My Head. here's what he said:
At OCD Action, we love nothing more than seeing people joining together to fight mental health stigma. The #itaffectsme campaign does just this. Created by Laura Darrall after a long battle with OCD, this simple hashtag has got people all over the world starting conversations about mental health in order to erase the stigma. Here's how it started:
A little while ago, we told you about Perfect, a new play which aimed to dispel myths about OCD, written by our very own Regional Volunteer, Jeremy Allen and performed by the Saturday Matinee Company (SatMatCo). Having OCD himself, Jeremy was keen to raise awareness of the condition through this performance (which also included a Q&A with OCD experts). We are now pleased to report that the show, which ran for three consecutive weeks at the Old Fire Station in Oxford, was a huge success.
Launched in 2009 by the International OCD Foundation, OCD Awareness Week aims to raise understanding and awareness of what OCD is, and how it affects people. It runs from 11-17th October, and is celebrated by organisations and individuals worldwide.
Aron Bennet, who is a Regional Volunteer for OCD Action's Better Together project, has just had a book published! 'The Walking Worried' follows Aron's journey with OCD.
Aron will be joining us at our National Conference in May, where he will be taking part in a 'Meet the Authors' session. If you'd like to come along and hear Aron and the other authors talk about their books (and get them signed!), you can purchase a Conference ticket here.