Oct 27, 6:00 PM EDT

The Other Side of OCD Recovery

We often discuss how to recover from OCD, but what happens after treatment? How do we stay healthy and manage the fear of relapse?

As Dr. Fred Penzel puts it, "Getting well is 50 percent of the job, and staying well is the other 50 percent." Join Mental Health Advocate, Stephen Johns and Made of Millions Canadian Director, Mary-Lyn Kieffer in discussing strategies on staying well once formal OCD therapy is complete.

Stephen will discuss his experience with his own OCD recovery management including, integrating ERP techniques, acceptance and mindfulness, as well as holistic wellness strategies such as, diet and sleep hygiene. Q&A to follow.


Stephen Johns is, among other things, a current Torontonian, a native Northwestern Ontarian, an academic advisor, a rock and roll traveller and, for better or worse, a die-hard fan of both the Minnesota Vikings and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Stephen has been a mental health advocate (with a particular focus on OCD) since 2012.

About Mary-Lyn Kieffer

Mary-Lyn Kieffer is a mental health advocate and Director of Made of Millions Foundation, Canada. She oversees all event production, digital programming, advocacy and fundraising initiatives taking place in Canada. Prior to her advocacy work, she was a marketing and business development professional in both the financial and legal industries, as well as an event producer, producing educational events for executives from Fortune 500 companies. Mary-Lyn holds a Master's Degree and Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Economics and Finance. 

In 2018 she left the corporate world after experiencing severe symptoms of OCD. Her personal experience opened her eyes to the lack of accessible mental health care, and drove her to seek out advocacy initiatives that allowed her to give back to the community. In addition to her work at Made of Millions, Mary-Lyn is an active member of the Toronto OCD community. In 2018, she completed the Peer Support Training program at Mood Disorders Association of Ontario. Using her knowledge to help others, she co-facilitates the Obsessive Compulsive Anonymous Support Group, as well as an OCD peer support group held at Sunnybrook Hospital.

About Ask the Advocates

Millions and millions of people around the world live with mental illness, but their stories are not all the same. They come from different places, cultures, communities and countries. They like different things, have different kinds of friends, and cope with their symptoms in different ways. When talking about mental health, it's important that we highlight these differences and explore how they shape our experiences. Mental health narratives should be as diverse and unique as we are.

Ask the Advocates is an ongoing Q&A series with outspoken mental health sufferers from around the world. Guests will open up about their experiences living with a wide range of conditions and symptoms, and answer your questions about pain, growth, healing, treatment and more. Before each episode, spend some time learning about the scheduled guest and come prepared with questions that are relevant to what they've been through.

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