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Meet Ellen: Mind award winner & OCD Youth volunteer

We are really pleased to announce that OCD Action Volunteer (YAP Social Media Officer) Ellen, is going to be speaking at the OCD Action 2015 National Conference. Ellen has kindly agreed to be one of our inspirational speakers and share her experiences of OCD.

As well as all the wonderful work that Ellen does for OCD Youth, she also has a blog that recently won an award at the Mind Media awards!

Matt, YAP Web and Digital Media Officer, recently caught up with Ellen to ask her a few questions about her success at the Mind awards…

Ellen, congratulations on your blog winning at the Mind Media awards recently. How did you feel when you heard your name called?

I felt so overwhelmed. All emotions came at me at once! This wasn’t what I was expecting at all, I felt so privileged to have been shortlisted and so to hear that I actually won was mind blowing.

How long have you been writing about OCD, and what was the reason for starting the blog in the first place?

I’ve been writing about OCD since September 2013. I initially started the blog because I was in the process of transferring psychologists, which was something that I was really struggling to comprehend with. I has searched all over the internet to see if I could find anything about switching therapists, more specifically from a young persons view, but I was unable to find anything. So I thought, why don’t I provide a resource to others on that specific topic because I knew that this would unfortunately have to happen to many people in the future and if I put a resource out there, it would hopefully make the process easier for them. I’m also really passionate about raising awareness for mental health and creating a blog was always something that I had in the back of my mind, so I think the whole process of having to change psychologist really gave me that initiative to start my blog.

Other than winning the Mind award, what has the reaction been like towards your blog?

The reaction to my blog has been so incredibly positive. The support and the motivation that people have given me has been amazing and I’m so grateful for the continued support.

The ‘Behind the OCD’ project is something else you’ve created, what was the thinking behind that?

From personal experience, I know myself that it’s very easy to get trapped behind the label of “I’m only OCD, there’s nothing more to me than that.’ If you are able to change that mindset about yourself, it can make such a difference. I wanted to promote this and make people more aware that they are more than their OCD. They are wonderful people and OCD does not have to define them. I hoped that this project would also help break down more stigma surrounding OCD, as that can contribute to people getting stuck behind the label in the first place.

Now you’re an award winning blogger, what does the future hold for ‘Ellen’s OCD Blog’? Any plans to expand it?

Many more blog posts for sure! I’m currently working on a ‘MoreThanMyDiagnosis Project’ that is a follow on from ‘Behind the OCD’. It’s aimed at all mental health conditions, rather than just OCD. It’s currently in the process, but will be released in the near future. I’m just going to continue what I’ve always done and that is to try and raise as much awareness as possible and hopefully expand on some more videos for my YouTube video.

What advice would you offer to others thinking about starting a blog on mental health?

Go for it! If you have a passion for this kind of blogging then I think you should join the community. Speak from the heart and have fun with it, because a key part of blogging is loving writing the posts. Write them not just for other people, but for yourself as well. That, I think is the best way to start!

Read Ellen’s article ‘We Are More Than Just OCD’

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