In 2013, UK-based writer, Rose Cartwright, published a raw, eye opening article about her struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in The Guardian. A world away, it inspired agency cofounder, Aaron Harvey, to seek help for his undiagnosed OCD and start the mental health awareness non-profit, Intrusive Thoughts Inc. This site later drove Jordaine Chattaway, a mother and entrepreneur living in Australia, to publicize her OCD battle and join the fight.
Now, five years later, Rose, Aaron and Jordaine have established themselves as leading OCD advocates. Their honesty has inspired and empowered a community of anxiety sufferers to vocalize their mental battles, fight stigma, and seek the professional treatment they deserve. On March 11th, the three of them took the SXSW stage to discuss digital advocacy, the creation of Intrusive Thoughts Inc., and what’s to come for the mental health movement. Joined by moderator Brett Peters, Director of Media and Strategic Partnerships at It Gets Better, the panel emphasized the power of online communities in sparking social change, and encouraged others to spark their own “snowball effect” for the causes they care about.