OCD Chicago Co-Sponsors National Stress Out Day

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College students across the country promote mental health awareness and provide pre-finals stress relief on National Stress Øut Day during the week of April 15-21, 2012.

Jeanne Ettelson, president of OCD Chicago, announced that OCD Chicago is co-sponsoring National Stress Out Day, along with Active Minds and Anxiety Disorders Association of America.

Next week college students on over 160 campuses across the country are participating in the 7th annual National Stress Out Day—a nationwide effort to provide pre-finals stress relief and to educate students about the difference between everyday anxiety and anxiety disorders or other mental illness. This year National Stress Out Day is being held during the week of April 15-21, 2012.

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% of them experience their first episode of anxiety before age 22 according to Active Minds. A recent national survey by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA found first-year college students' self-ratings of their emotional health dropped to record lows in 2010. And a 2009 survey by the American College Health Association found that 46% of college students said they felt “things were hopeless” at least once in the previous 12 months, and nearly a third of college students had been so depressed that it was difficult to function.

During National Stress Out Day, Active Minds chapters will invite students to participate in stress relieving activities like water balloon fights, petting zoos, and yoga. They will also be educated about mental health issues and made aware of the mental health resources available to them. National Stress Out Day aims to shed light on anxiety disorders while promoting a healthy dialogue around all mental health issues.

About OCD Chicago
OCD Chicago, the leading provider of consumer resources to help sufferers cope with and conquer OCD, supports the informational and emotional needs of people with OCD, their families, educators, clergy, and the mental health professionals who treat them. OCD is a neurobiological disorder that affects one in 40 adults and one in 100 children of all racial cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. OCD Chicago reaches out with compassion and encouragement to assure people with OCD that they are not alone and help them manage the disorder.

For more information on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD Chicago, visit http://www.ocdchicago.org. On its web site, the organization offers detailed facts about OCD, a special information section for college students, personal stories from students with OCD and guides such as Overcoming OCD: A Guide for College Students. You can also call OCD Chicago at 773-661-9530 to speak to someone knowledgeable about OCD.

About Active Minds
Active Minds is the leading voice in college student mental health and supports a rapidly growing network of more than 340 student-run chapters at high schools, colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada. All chapters work toward one goal: to create a campus culture where it is okay to speak openly about mental health and seek help. A national non-profit headquartered in Washington D.C., Active Minds empowers students to change the conversation about mental health one campus at a time. To learn more, visit http://www.activeminds.org.

Active Minds chapters at 165 campuses in 37 states, Washington, DC, and Ontario, Canada will participate in the 7th annual National Stress Øut Day: For more information, visit http://www.activeminds.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=69&Itemid=105.

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Ellen Sawyer
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