The mission of the International OCD Foundation is to help those affected by obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders to live full and productive lives. Our aim is to increase access to effective treatment through research and training, foster a hopeful and supportive community for those affected by OCD and the professionals who treat them, and fight stigma surrounding mental health issues.
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In 1986, a group of individuals with OCD began meeting together while enrolled in some of the first medication trials for OCD treatment. The principal investigator of one of the studies was Wayne Goodman, MD, then a junior faculty psychiatrist who started the OCD program at Yale University School of Medicine during his residency training. It was Dr. Goodman’s idea that some of the participants meet together during the clinical trials to discuss their experiences of having OCD, trying to access treatment, and coping with the isolation of not knowing anyone else with OCD. Virtually none of them had ever met another person with OCD prior to enrolling in the trial.
After realizing the importance of mutual support and community, the group established itself as the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation (OCF) and began to cast their net as wide as possible to see who else was suffering in silence. Boldly, they wrote to ABC’s 20/20 describing OCD and suggesting that the producers do a segment on it. In March of 1987, 20/20 ran a segment on OCD featuring a number of the OCF Founders. The small group of Founders was subsequently flooded with 20,000 inquiries in the days following the 20/20 segment. Now the Foundation had to determine what they could do to help. And so, the Foundation began to build their structure and sought the guidance of clinicians and researchers.