World’s Leading Experts on OCD Gather in Atlanta


From July 18 to 21, the world’s leading researchers of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) will gather in Atlanta, Ga. for the 20th Annual OCD Conference

What began 20 years ago as a small conference has grown into an international event hosting mental health experts from around the world and families affected by OCD and related disorders. More than 1,100 people are expected to attend the event in Atlanta this year.

Little understanding with lack of public awareness

“OCD affects one in 100 adults, yet it remains little understood in the general public, and this lack of awareness and prevailing mental health stigma make it difficult for those with OCD and related disorders to gain access to effective, appropriate treatment,” explained Jeff Szymanski, PhD, executive director of the International OCD Foundation. “This conference not only provides resources for those affected by OCD and related disorders, but also provides a critical training opportunity for mental health professionals to learn how to effectively treat these disorders.”

Keynote speaker: From sufferer to advocate

The keynote speaker this year is Shala Nicely, whose life is a study on how to successfully cope with the disorder and even excel. Ten years ago, Nicely attended her first OCD conference as a woman with severe OCD in need of information and support. Three years later, she has received her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and is an associate counselor specializing in OCD in the Atlanta area. Her keynote speech will talk about her journey from OCD sufferer to OCD advocate.

Workshops, support groups and DSM-5 discussion

One hot topic will surely be the revised DSM and the impact of changes made to it. There will be workshops for young adults with OCD, a Spanish language program, support groups and events for the four days the group meets. To learn more, visit the International OCD Foundation website.

Source: International OCD Foundation

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