Well done, the post has been finally removed after the outroar the OCD community has caused. When it rains it truly does pour and I hope we realize whilst swimming in the depths of the mistake made, I Shaun Flores advocate and activist dedicated to being the worst thing to happen to OCD after my OCD diagnosis at 27 years old. I work relentlessly with OCD charities to raise awareness about OCD. However, I call upon you to make some meaningful changes.
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As a result of OCD, I was left housebound for days terrified, suffering from panic attacks, being depressed, unable to eat or shower convinced I would hurt himself and others, a therapist saved my life and I have been in recovery since. From survivor to thriver with OCD I have reclaimed my life and your company reminds me why I am so passionate about getting people to truly understand what OCD is.
Removal of the post from your company is the first step, the next step we need is a public apology, acknowledging the damage caused by your company and the statements made. “I have obsessive cup disorder.”
We are not a sensitive community, we are a community empowered and emboldened by supporting one another and knowing what it feels like to live with this mental illness. That’s why we are passionate about getting language correct. I am sure you would be the same if you knew anyone personally with OCD, you would not want someone mocking or casually making dehumanizing remarks about OCD. I dream of a world where we no longer need to raise awareness of OCD because people truly comprehend what it is.
Secondly, as a company with annual revenue of $17 million, I am calling upon your company to donate some of those funds to OCD charities to show your dedication to righting the wrongs of what has happened. There are a few that can be easily found with the click of a button. OCD charities need money as it is a severely underfunded, and under-researched mental illness.
Just to reinforce the worrying and alarming numbers to understand the nature of OCD. Here are a few numbers to become acquainted with.
The World Health Organization lists anxiety disorders, including OCD, as the sixth largest contributor to non-fatal health loss globally as outlined by OCD UK Charity.
In the UK where I am from OCD desperately needs more funding and research, as frighteningly, only 89 pounds per year is spent on research for each person affected by OCD. Yet, OCD and mental health conditions like it devastates the UK economy. The Centre for Mental Health found that, in 2010, the total economic cost of mental illness in the UK was a staggering £105.2 billion a year, of which anxiety disorders, including OCD, cost £9.8 billion. OCD often is paired with other mental illnesses like depression, causing some OCD sufferers to be at a higher risk of suicide. New studies suggest that OCD sufferers are 10 times more likely to commit suicide or display suicidal behavior. Additionally, up to 25% of people with OCD have admitted to attempting suicide at some point. Now combine this with the fact that men are also more likely to die by suicide.
The reaction to your offensive post has been poorly managed, countless individuals have been blocked from your social media for simply advocating and asking you to remove insensitive content.
As a mental health advocate, activist, and educator, I call upon you to have workshops on mental illness to actually educate, inform and progress the archaic views on mental illness forward. Specific workshops and literature will be needed with the lived experience of those living, and suffering from OCD front and center to have a true understanding of what OCD is, the pain it causes, and the lives it has taken. There are countless organizations once again that can provide this.
As a CEO in a progressive, social justice and soon-to-be equitable world, this is the right, moral, ethical thing to do. Your company and yourself need to realize how much of a teaching moment this is. I want to see actions and not just lip service. I believe in your capacity to change, whilst you have been called out, I am daring to call you in to help the OCD community.
From Shaun Flores
An OCD warrior.
Thank you very much,
Shaun Flores is an IOCDF Advocate based in London, UK. You can find his work here: https://linktr.ee/theshaunflores
Social Media: theshaunflores
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