ATLANTA, July 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Twenty years after the first conference was held in Bloomington, Minnesota, the Annual OCD Conference has become an international event, bringing together mental health experts from around the world, and individuals with OCD and their family members, to discuss the most recent findings related to the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and related disorders. This year, over 1,100 people are expected to attend the 20th Annual OCD Conference in Downtown Atlanta hosted by the International OCD Foundation.
"OCD affects 1 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," explains 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."
This year's Keynote speaker, Shala Nicely, is a perfect example of how the Annual OCD Conference has the ability to transform lives. Nicely first attended the conference in 2010 as an individual with severe OCD in need of resources, information, and support. Three years later, she has received her Masters in Mental Health Counseling and is now an associate counselor specializing in OCD in the Atlanta area. Her Keynote Address on Saturday will take conference attendees through her journey from OCD sufferer to OCD advocate.
New this year, the 20th Annual OCD Conference is offering a Special Hoarding Program dedicated to research about and treatment of hoarding disorder (HD), containing 3 full days of trainings, workshops, and support groups for professionals and those affected by HD, from some of the world's leading HD experts.
Katharine Phillips, MD, will address the professional community at Friday's Plenary to discuss the impacts of the newly published DSM-V to the OCD and related disorders field. Dr. Phillips is a Professor of Psychiatry at Brown University, and served as Chair of the work group responsible for updates affecting OCD and HD in the DSM-V.
Other conference offerings include workshops for Young Adults with OCD; a Spanish-language program; a mini-track dedicated to PANDAS/PANS; and 4 days of workshops, activities, support groups, and events for the entire OCD community.
The 20th Annual OCD Conference takes place Thursday, July 18th through Sunday, July 21st at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Onsite Registration begins Thursday at 12 p.m. To learn more, visit http://ocd2013.org.
About the International OCD Foundation
The mission of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) is to help individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) to live full and productive lives. Our aim is to increase access to effective treatment, end the stigma associated with mental health issues, and foster a community for those affected by OCD and the professionals who treat them.
SOURCE International OCD Foundation