Our student placement programme aims to work in partnership with selected academic centres to offer appropriate students a placement at OCD Action. During their time at the charity students will undertake training and be given all the supervision and advice they need to provide high quality support and information to people affected by OCD via our helpline and e-mail services. The project will enable OCD Action to respond to 17,640 more requests for support and information over 2 years, it will act as a model for similar support organisations, it will provide the evidence base for future funding and will ensure that future health and social care workers have an improved knowledge of the disorder. This two year project will costs ¬£34,883 in year one and ¬£45,450 in year two.
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OCD is a clinically recognised condition in which people experience intensely negative, repetitive and intrusive thoughts, combined with a chronic feeling of doubt or danger. In order to quell the thought or quiet the anxiety, they will repeat an action, such as cleaning, again and again. It is estimated that the current UK population with OCD is 1.8million. Behind these people there are an even greater number of parents, partners, friends and carers who are in need of support and information. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends that treatment for OCD should comprise of a course of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and or medication. There is however still an average waiting time of 18 months for CBT treatment. Last year the government announced that it would be embarking on a programme to increase the availability of therapists, in particular CBT therapists, so as to reduce waiting times and increase capacity. Unfortunately however, it will take some time for this programme to take affect and in the meantime there is a growing demand for psychological services. At OCD Action we receive a large number of calls and e-mails from people either waiting to start treatment or in-between treatment sessions. Our feedback from service users shows us that by giving the support and information they need, they have been encouraged to keep going no matter how desperate life seems. Working with our 3 key academic partners; Leicester, Brunel and North West London University, OCD Action will recruit student interns to undertake their work placements at our offices in central London. These undergraduate students will be undertaking either social work or psychology courses. Once suitable students have been selected, they will undergo an intensive 5 day training course lead by a qualified trainer. This training course will cover the medical and social aspects of OCD, treatment options, where to go for support as well as call and e-mail handling skills. Once trained, students will respond to requests for information and support via the Charity‚Äôs e-mail and helpline services. Our experience shows that a trained intern will be able to respond to on average 7 requests for help and information each day. Students will have a regular supervision session each week and on-going training once per month. Student placements last for 26 weeks (126 working days allowing for bank holidays). Placements are available in two sessions each year; January to June and July to December. In the first year of this projects, OCD Action will recruit 4 interns per session (8 in total) and 6 interns per session in year 2 (12 in total). The first intake of interns will be July 2008. Interns are required to write up and report on their experiences at OCD Action as part of the course, with information and experiences shared with their fellow students. In this way OCD‚Äôs Internship project will not only enable the charity to provide vital support and information to 17,640 more people, but also help spread knowledge of OCD amongst the health and social care professionals of the future.
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