Online app launched to support local people with OCD

18th August 2020

Adults in Dorset and Southampton with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) can now access dedicated support using a digital app called OCDnet.

The app offers a practical online programme for the patient to work through, while also providing a chat facility with trained practitioners when needed.

Run by Dorset HealthCare’s Steps to Wellbeing service, OCDnet is a free, confidential service for people aged 18 and over, and is designed to help users manage their condition on a day-to-day basis.

OCD affects people in all walks of life, and can take many forms – the obsessive need some people have to continually wash their hands, for example, which may have been made worse by the spread of COVID-19.

To receive support via OCDnet, you can make a self-referral via the Steps to Wellbeing website. A team member will get in touch to assess which treatment would be most helpful – which could be the new app.

Clare Hurley, Head of Adult Psychological Services at Dorset HealthCare, said:

“Many people think you can’t treat OCD and feel embarrassed, so suffer in silence and don’t seek treatment.

“However, OCD can be well managed and controlled. We would encourage anyone that thinks they have OCD to refer themselves and get support. Help is at hand.”

Karen, from Weymouth, uses the app and said:

“OCDnet has made a huge difference to my life. When I am confronted with a triggering situation my anxiety fades more quickly, as though my brain has recognised there is no real danger.

“Thanks to the app and support from the Steps to Wellbeing team, I now have an understanding on what is happening in my head and I feel more in control. I am still working through the modules and am definitely excited to see how I progress after some more practice.

“I strongly encourage anyone out there suffering to refer themselves to the program. Sometimes it’s difficult to admit that something is wrong and talk to others about it, especially during face-to-face appointments.

“With OCDnet you can talk to a therapist and work on your OCD from the comfort of your own home. Don’t be put off either if you are not 100% sure that you have OCD. There is no harm done in tackling any symptoms before compulsions become routine.”

To receive free support with OCD, or other mild to moderate depression and anxiety disorders, self-refer today at 

BBC Radio Solent asked us about how the app helps people manage the condition on a day-to-day basis. You can listen to the interview on the radio station's website. The interview starts at 1 hour six minutes and 49 seconds through.

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