Allen Weg, Ed.D., Past President
Back in the late 1990s, I was contacted by Julian and Ina Spero about creating a New Jersey affiliate of the International OCD Foundation. They had a family member who suffered with OCD, and were personally touched by the disorder, and so they wanted to create a presence of this very important organization closer to home.
After much effort on the part of the Speros, we incorporated as a nonprofit organization, and published our first Newsletter in the Spring of 1999, followed by our first meeting. Although we were warned by our parent organization not to expect more than one half dozen or so people at this initial meeting, we were elated when a total of 42 people showed up! This further strengthened our conviction that a New Jersey Affiliate would be helpful to persons with OCD, their families and other supporters, and the mental health professionals who work with, or want to learn how to work with, this psychiatric disorder.
Our affiliate an annual conference, usually on a Sunday in early Spring. These conferences include a luncheon and a “Living with OCD” panel made up of people of various ages who either have or live with someone who has OCD. There are usually at least one or more children on this panel, and all panel members speak about their personal experiences and take questions from the audience.
Our annual conference also features a keynote speaker. Our past speakers are nationally respected experts in the treatment of OCD, accomplished authors, and research specialists. Nearly all of our past speakers are presently on the Scientific Advisory Board of the International OCD Foundation, including myself, as well as the following: Drs Fred Penzel, Dean Mckay, Jonathan Grayson, Marty Franklin, Charles Mansueto, Jonathan Abramowitz, Aureen Wagner, Fugen Neziroglu, H.Blair Simpson, and Barbara Van Noppen.
OCD New Jersey publishes a quarterly newsletter, which comes out approximately six weeks prior to each quarterly meeting. The newsletter, now solely an E-Newsletter and is available online through this website, always includes information about the most recent and upcoming quarterly meetings, including directions to the meeting place; our annual conference when it is approaching; a professional directory; and articles submitted by both professionals and lay people. We are always in search for persons interested and willing to contribute articles to our newsletter!
You can also get our News Alerts, which are sent out periodically via email in between the publishing of our E-Newsletters. These rarely are sent out more than once a month. These alerts are reminders that are sent out to those on our email list, to let them know about our upcoming meetings, annual conference, events, or free treatment or research project opportunities. We presently have over 700 subscribers to this service, but with room to grow!
TO GET THE NEWSLETTER AND/OR THE OCD NEWS ALERTS SENT TO YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, PLEASE SIGN UP ON THE HOME PAGE OF THIS WEB SITE.
Since our formation we have been instrumental in aiding in the creation of multiple support groups throughout the state, and have sent may speakers to school systems to educate the educators about early identification of OCD within the school setting. We are involved in other special projects, such as screening movies or staffing tables at local community health fairs. Finally, we maintain an active help line- see the Contact Us section of this web site.
It is a lot of work to run an organization like this, and we are always looking for volunteers, both lay people and professionals, whether on an ongoing basis, or just to help with a project, such as staffing a health fair table or writing a newsletter article. Please contact us if interested.
So look around our web site, and see what we are up to. Welcome, and hope to see you soon at one of our events!