Best Practice

OCD: 16 ideas for how we can help at school

What do you know about obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and how would you begin to support a student with the condition? Dr Pooky Knightsmith offers some practical pointers, including 16 ideas for ways we can help students in school
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What is OCD?

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is mental health condition which affects all genders, ethnicities, and ages, often starting during adolescence. It is an anxiety-related disorder which can have a significant impact on the sufferer’s day-to-day life.

OCD affects an estimated 1 to 2% of the population. Onset can come as young as age six, with 25% of cases starting to develop by age 14 (Rachman & de Silva, 2004). However, it is highly treatable, especially if picked up early, and there are many steps that we can take to help support students at school.


What are the symptoms?

OCD has two key elements: Obsessions and compulsions.

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