Get out your notebooks and cameras (unless you have note-taking rituals)! Get out your #ocdvocate bracelets! Get out your courage to do exposures! The 23rd Annual OCD Conference put on by the International OCD Foundation is just 10 days away!
Last year’s conference in Boston was an incredible experience so I am beyond excited, and grateful, that I am able to go again this year in Chicago.
Two big things are worth mentioning in advance of the conference.
I am overjoyed that this year beyond just attending the conference, I will also be speaking!
With my close friend, Sonia, we will be presenting a session about the Mental Health Monologues show. We have put on this show on University of Michigan’s campus for the past two years now. The show features around 10 students or faculty members sharing their mental health stories through monologue, poem, spoken word, or song. Sonia originally founded the Mental Health Monologues show in 2015. I performed a monologue about OCD that first year, and then co-directed the show with Sonia this past year.
Session Title: Mental Health Monologues: Sharing Stories, Reducing Stigma; and Performance by Comedian Dean Masello: “I’m So OCD”
Join us to develop an understanding of how to foster an open dialogue about mental illness within your community. We will discuss the process for producing a Mental Health Monologues performance, and how you can bring this experience to your own campus. We will present past performances from the University of Michigan’s 2015/2016 Mental Health Monologues Show and give you the opportunity to learn about an effective process for sharing personal stories in an impactful and understandable way. We are working to change the conversation
about mental health in our community, and hope to inspire you to recognize the ability for performance art to be an effective mode of expression for building greater understanding of mental health concerns. We will close with a performance by Dean Masello.
We will be discussing how the show was founded and how you can put on a show like this in your community. Of course, we will also be showing previous performances, and I will be performing my monologue again. The session will end with a similar performance by Comedian Dean Masello, entitled “I’m So OCD”
The session is Friday night, from 7-9pm.
If you will be at the conference, I hope you can come to our session! Click here for more information about our session and to save it in your conference schedule.
Q & A with Kat!
While at the conference, I will also be collaborating with fellow OCD advocate, Kat. She makes wonderful youtube videos talking openly about mental health, and also recently started a blog. We have been discussing collaborating for a while, and since we will both be at the conference it seemed like a great opportunity.
As a collaboration, we will be filming a Q&A video to be posted on Kat’s youtube channel. To do this, we need your questions! These can be questions about OCD, the conference, blogging/advocacy, or anything at all mental health related. Let us know any questions in the comments of this blog post or of Kat’s youtube video.
See you in Chicago!
When last year’s conference ended, like most people I was sad to have to leave that bubble where OCD is normalized and everyone understands. I was bummed I would have to wait a whole year before the next conference. Now, I can hardly believe a year has passed and it is time for the conference again.
Some of my favorite sessions last year that I want to attend again were the young adult support group, virtual camping, and the Saturday night social. I highly recommend these events to any new conference-goers.
Mostly though, what I’m looking forward to is being surrounded by and inspired by others who understand. That is really the best part of OCDcon. For those who cannot attend, I will be tweeting throughout and blogging again at the end of the conference. You will be there with us in spirit! For those who are attending, I look forward to either seeing you again or meeting new people!
See you in Chicago!