Chicago, IL (PRWEB) April 15, 2011
OCD Chicago has joined Active Minds and Anxiety Disorders Association of America to sponsor National Stress Out Day, a nationwide effort to provide pre-finals stress relief and educate college students about the difference between everyday anxiety and an anxiety disorder or other mental illness. One hundred thirty campuses in 37 states will participate.
The event will be held during the week of April 17-23. Students will engage in activities aimed to relieve pre-finals stress while reducing the stigma around mental health disorders which can prevent students from seeking treatment.
“OCD, an anxiety disorder, can be extremely debilitating, and it is crucial that those suffering reach out for help as early as possible,” said OCD Chicago Executive Director Ellen Sawyer. “That is why we are proud to help educate college students about mental health issues, and let them know that there is a place to go for help and information.”
Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health problems on college campuses. Forty million U.S. adults suffer from an anxiety disorder, and 75 percent of them experience their first episode of anxiety by age 22.
National Stress Out Day is even more important in light of a recent national survey by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA that found first-year college students' self-ratings of their emotional health dropped to record low levels in 2010. According to a 2009 survey by the American College Health Association forty-six percent of college students said they felt “things were hopeless” at least once in the previous 12 months, and nearly a third had been so depressed that it was difficult to function.
OCD Chicago is a not-for-profit organization that works to increase public and professional awareness of OCD, educate and support people with OCD and their families, and to encourage research into new treatments and a cure. The organization provides numerous resources such as educational materials, treatment referrals, information for parents and teachers, and a place for those affected by OCD to find hope and encouragement.
OCD is a neurobiological disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions that take up an excessive amount of time (typically an hour or more each day), cause significant distress and significantly interfere with normal life. Obsessions are uncontrollable, persistent worries, doubts, or fears, and compulsions are the repetitive activities that the person with OCD feels compelled to engage in to relieve the anxiety caused by the obsessions.
For more information on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD Chicago, please visit http://www.ocdchicago.org. On its web site, the organization offers detailed facts about OCD, resources, personal stories from teens and students with OCD and guides such as Overcoming OCD: A Guide for College Students. You can also call OCD Chicago at 773-880-1635 to speak to someone knowledgeable about OCD.
To see if your school is participating in National Stress Out Day, visit http://www.ocdchicago.org/index.php/news/events.