We will develop a sustainable volunteering programme to encourage service users across the UK to participate in community initiatives to reduce the stigma attached to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Mental Health in general and about empowering people with OCD and Mental Health to live independently and make informed choices about the safest and most effective treatment options available to them. The volunteer programme will also play an important role in the ongoing support and care for people affected by this debilitating illness, providing a sustainable support network across the UK.
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If left untreated the NICE guidelines for OCD report that the illness can not only cause marked psychological distress, but can also disrupt social, educational and emotional development, leading to significant disability, and it can be a social isolating illness. By increasing volunteering opportunities we hope to reduce that isolation not only for the volunteers, but also for the service users that our volunteers reach out to and provide a support network. The long term outcome being a significant number of people affected by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder will be empowered with the knowledge of how to maintain recovery from this illness in order to return to work and lessen the impact on both department of health resources and help lower economic costs paid due to service users being unable to work and claiming incapacity benefits.
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