Is it that time of year already? It only seems like a few weeks since we were in the middle of our OCD Week of Action (which takes place during February every year), when in fact it was a whopping 6 months ago and we are already approaching the next big OCD campaign!
October marks two very special occasions, OCD Awareness Week and World Mental Health Day, and they are both fantastic opportunities to help spread the word about OCD and other mental health conditions, fight stigma, change perceptions, and (most importantly) support others!
Here's what will be happening throughout October, and some information about how you can get involved!
OCD Awareness Week #OCDWeek: 7th-13th October
Set up by International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), and supported by charities all over the world, #OCDWeek is an international effort to raise awareness of OCD and change people's perceptions about the condition. We recently became a Global Partner of the IOCDF as we really admire all of the work they do, so we are thrilled to be able to support their fantastic efforts for #OCDWeek.
One of the tasks that the IOCDF is encouraging people to get involved with for this years' #OCDWeek, is their #RealOCD campaign. They are asking people to record a short video of themselves talking about OCD and finishing this sentence: "What I want you to know about OCD is...". Then you simply have to share the video on social media using the hashtag #RealOCD! It's a really simple and effective way of spreading the word about what OCD is actually like to live with. If you would prefer not to record a video, then you can still get involved by sharing one of the IOCDF's template pictures, which can be found here on their website!
As well as this, there are tons of other ways you can get involved, including changing your profile picture to include the #OCDWeek Twibbon, joining a Q&A, or writing a letter to your local newspaper. There's something for everyone on their website, so go and check it out and tag us on social media to let us know how you'll be getting involved in #OCDWeek.
We have also been invited to give an awareness talk at Network Rail with the lovely Laura who has organised a series of mental health talks within her company! We can't wait to chat to their staff about OCD and give them information about how they can support colleagues and friends if they are struggling.
World Mental Health Day #WMHD: 10th October
World Mental Health Day takes place in the middle of #OCDWeek, and is a worldwide campaign to improve people's understanding of mental health issues. We were so pleased to hear that the focus of #WMHD this year is young people's mental health. OCD Action is so passionate about improving things for our next generation, and through our OCD Youth project (which is run by an amazing voluntary team of young people) we are trying to improve access to treatment, enhance support systems for young people, and empower young people to feel confident talking about their mental health. We are very excited to have recently recruited a new group of volunteers to lead our youth project, and have some really exciting things planned for the year ahead!
We would love for you to share information about OCD Youth this World Mental Health Day, to let young people affected by OCD and related disorders know that they are not alone and that help is out there. The Youth details are all here, so please share them on as many platforms as you can!
If you're looking for another way to get involved with #WMHD or #OCDWeek, you can help us out by sharing information about OCD with your local university! As it is the start of term for many university students, we would like to try and get our 'OCD at Uni' booklet into as many universities across the country as possible. The booklet was created by one of our fantastic volunteers, and it's full of information about accessing support at uni and what your rights are, so it's a handy tool to have if you need that extra bit of support through your studies. You can download the 'OCD at Uni' booklet here and email or post it to your local university, or even better, go and hand it into to the student support/wellbeing team! By doing this, you may just reach someone who needs that extra bit of support.
We also have tons of useful leaflets, pens, badges etc that you can request from us, that may come in useful to hand out at school, in your local library or doctors surgery. There's no better time to do this than #OCD Week, so if you would like to get your hands on some useful materials, just email firstname.lastname@example.org with an address and we can send that information straight across!
There's something very exciting coming your way soon, just a week after World Mental Health Day, so keep an eye out on our website and social media for more updates. We can't say any more just yet, but we promise you it's worth the wait!
OCD Week of Action #OCDwoa
...and last (but certainly not least!), don't forget that OCD Week of Action 2019 is now less than 5 months away! We have some big things planned for it this year, so keep it in mind, and let us know if you will be getting involved with #OCDwoa 2019!