1st Annual OCD Conference in Ottawa brings together OCD treatment experts on 3 November 2018 (Ottawa, 1 November 2018)

Changing Minds, an Ottawa-based not-for-profit, will host its first annual conference in Ottawa on 3 November, offering a unique opportunity for individuals with OCD and their family members to learn about the latest in research and treatment alongside the mental health professionals who treat the disorder. Changing Minds was established to provide individuals and supporters affected by mental health disorders, including OCD, and those treating them with access to information on evidence-based mental health treatment models.

OCD is the fourth most common mental health disorder and among the ten leading causes of medical disability worldwide. It is estimated that OCD and related disorders affect five per cent of the population, or 1.8 million Canadians. ͞There’s a serious gap in the health-care system when it comes to treating patients with obsessive compulsive and related disorders. And limited knowledge is to blame͟, says Dr. Peggy Richter, Psychiatrist and Head of the Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre, Sunnybrook, Toronto, which in October 2017 opened the first intensive residential treatment program for severe OCD in Canada.

The Changing Minds OCD Conference offers an opportunity for participants to improve their knowledge on evidence-based OCD treatment along with practical strategies to support treatment outcomes. Dr. Richter, who is keynote speaker for the event, will give an overview of advances in the treatment of OCD across the lifespan. Lunchtime speaker will be author, blogger and mental health coach, Mark Freeman, who will take the audience through his own adventure with OCD to the place he is now: supporting people around the world as they navigate the complex changes involved with improving mental health.

The conference offers two streams, one for professionals and one for individuals with OCD and their supporters/family members. Sessions will be led by clinical psychologists with expertise in evidence-based treatment of OCD. Among the offerings are sessions on decreasing accommodation of OCD in the family, pharmacotherapy for the treatment of OCD, do’s and don’ts of implementing exposure and response prevention (ERP) with clients, and how to build motivation for change in OCD treatment.

The 1st Annual OCD Conference takes place Saturday, November 3rd, from 9am to 5pm at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre. To learn more or to register please visit or email