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21st Annual OCD Conference Brings Awareness and Leading Research to West Coast

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SOURCE International OCD Foundation

Respected Comic Awarded for Bringing Awareness and Challenging Stereotypes of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

LOS ANGELES, July 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The International OCD Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and related disorders live full and productive lives, announced today that the 21st Annual OCD Conference will be held in Los Angeles from July 18-20, 2014. The OCD Conference is the only international gathering solely devoted to spreading awareness, fostering support, and identifying treatment solutions for OCD and related disorders. Additionally, the International OCD Foundation will be honoring comedian Maria Bamford with the 2014 Illumination Award at the conference. The award recognizes individuals who have helped to raise awareness about OCD through accurate and respectful portrayals in the media.

"OCD is a mental disorder often overlooked by society, leaving many to figure out how to cope with the challenges of this often debilitating condition on their own," said Jeff Szymanski, PhD, executive director of the International OCD Foundation. "Our goal with this year's conference is to not only shed light on the gravity of OCD, but also cultivate hope among the OCD community by giving people tools to find effective treatment, and showcasing stories of people who have fought this battle and overcome the disorder."

"As someone who has experienced mental illness, I have been so grateful to organizations like the International OCD Foundation-as well as individuals-who provide information, new treatments and support," said Maria Bamford. "My life has been transformed from a very limiting and frightening experience to a world beyond my expectations with the help and welcome from people in the mental health community. I commend the International OCD Foundation's efforts to contest the misconceptions of mental health disorders. I am truly honored to receive the Illumination Award and am grateful-that as a result of the work, acceptance, and compassion of so many-I've been empowered to live a life I didn't think was possible."

The OCD Conference is a place for those affected by OCD and related disorders to learn about treatment among a community of people with OCD, their loved ones, and mental health professionals. Taking place at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City, CA, the conference expects to welcome more than 1,200 kids, teens, adults, families, research experts, and mental health professionals.

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.

Based in Boston, the IOCDF has affiliates in 22 states and territories, as well as 9 Global Partners. The IOCDF was founded as the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation in 1986. Now in its 27th 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.


Kevin Friedman
President, Maize Marketing Inc.

Carly Bourne
Director of Communications, International OCD Foundation

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