BOSTON, July 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 1,500 advocates and mental health experts are expected to attend the 22nd Annual OCD Conference taking place July 31–August 2 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel, hosted by the International OCD Foundation and presented by McLean Hospital's OCD Institute.
This is not a conference about hand sanitizer or fist-bumps or tweeting about being so #OCD. This is a conference for millions of Americans who deal with obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD. OCD affects 1 in 100 adults around the world, and can result in crippling anxiety and doubt.
"OCD is often misunderstood or overlooked, so the OCD Conference is an excellent chance for people to get connected to new and exciting resources, research and a strong community that understands and relates to your experiences," says Jeff Szymanski, PhD, executive director of the IOCDF.
"The IOCDF conference provides an incredible opportunity to access an abundance of resources in one place," said Diane Davey, RN, MBA, program director of McLean Hospital's OCD Institute. "It also provides a safe place to learn and share knowledge about OCD, and to meet other people who understand the disorder without fear of stigma."
Some of the highlights of this year's conference showcase new, innovative approaches to treating OCD. The "Louder than OCD Cabaret," one of the opening events of the Conference, features IOCDF spokesperson and Argentinian pop star, Ro Vitale, performing and leading a music therapy workshop.
"Music heals in the most amazing and unexpected ways," says Vitale. "As a musician and teacher, I have seen the amazing outcomes of using this tool, and I can't wait to accompany attendees in their creative process."
This year's keynote address, to be delivered by former NHL goalie Clint Malarchuk, is another conference highlight. A longtime OCD-sufferer, Malarchuk is perhaps best known for having his carotid artery slashed by a skate during a 1989 NHL game — an injury that caused him to nearly bleed to death on the ice. Malarchuk, and his wife, Joanie, will discuss his struggles with OCD, depression, and PTSD, and their newfound roles as advocates for mental health.
The IOCDF will also honor individuals in the OCD and related disorder community. David Adam, an editor for Nature and author of the 2014 book, "The Man Who Couldn't Stop" will receive the IOCDF Illumination Award, an accolade given annually to media personalities and other influencers whose work accurately and respectfully represents OCD.
Other honorees recognized throughout the Conference weekend include psychologist James Claiborn, PhD; psychiatrist John Greist, MD; and advocates Chris Trondsen and Kevin Putman.
For more information about the OCD Conference, visit ocd2015.org.
About the IOCDF
The International OCD Foundation is a donor-supported nonprofit organization, working 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. Based in Boston, the IOCDF has affiliates in 22 states and territories, as well as 9 Global Partners. Now in its 29th year, the organization has an over $1.5 million annual operating budget, has granted millions of dollars for OCD research, and is a vital resource for the estimated 1 in 100 individuals with OCD around the world. For more information, visit http://iocdf.org.
About McLean Hospital
McLean Hospital is the largest psychiatric affiliate of Harvard Medical School and a member of Partners HealthCare. For more information about McLean, visit www.mclean.harvard.edu or follow the hospital on Facebook or Twitter.
SOURCE International OCD Foundation