We at the William James College INTERFACE Referral Service are keenly aware of the shortage of mental health providers of color and how racial inequities exist in medical and mental health care. The College’s Black Mental Health Academy, Center for Multicultural and Global Mental Health, and other programs and academic offerings are playing a critical role in reversing this trend. We invite you to read a statement from our Black Mental Health Graduate Academy Scholars, and to stand with us as allies to drive change and address systemic racism.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Hoarding

What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

Although previously considered an anxiety disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV-TR), in the most recent edition, the DSM-V, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is now in the category of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders. This new category not only includes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) but also includes Hoarding Disorder. OCD is characterized by either intrusive images or thoughts which are unwanted (obsessions) or particular repetitive behaviors or intentional thoughts (compulsions). Both obsessions and compulsions may be present, but both do not need to be present in order to meet criteria for OCD. Obsessions cause significant distress to the individual and may prompt avoidance behaviors, as well. Compulsions are not typical reassurance-seeking behaviors, because compulsions tend to take up significant amounts of the individual's time and interfere with functioning in multiple areas of the individual's life. Often compulsions develop as a means to alleviate or neutralize obsessions. Despite a possible awareness that the obsessions are not logical and possible knowledge of the interference in daily routine or time consumed by compulsive behaviors,  individuals who meet criteria for OCD may find the obsessions impossible to ignore and may find safety or comfort in these compulsive behaviors.

Common obsessions include:

Resource Organizations » OCD and Hoarding

In Massachusetts

Organizations with hotlines

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)- Massachusettes



Email: info@namimass.org

The National Alliance on Mental Illness maintains a helpline for information on mental illnesses and referrals to local groups. The local self-help groups have support and advocacy components and offer education and information about community services for diverse communities comprising of LGBTQ individuals, veterans, active duty military members, teens, young adults, older adults and families. Local chapters can be found through the main website. For information about the Alliance's affiliates and activities in MA, contact NAMI Massachusetts. NAMI is a great resource for individuals, families, and loved ones facing mental illness and the accompanying challenges. 

Organizations without hotlines

Children of Hoarders: Massachusetts

COH provides helpful links to help a family member who hoards. These include links to therapists, professional organizers, cleaning companies, and applicable laws and regulations. The website also has information about hoarding support groups and family support groups.

International OCD Foundation Children


Email: info@iocdf.org

The mission of the International OCD Foundation is to help everyone affected by obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders to live full and productive lives.  The main aim of OCDF Children  is to increase access to effective treatment, end the stigma associated with mental health issues, and foster a community for those affected by OCD and the professionals who treat them.  The OCDF provides resources for parents and promotes awareness of OCD in children. 

International OCD Foundation Hoarding Center


Email: info@iocdf.org

The IOCDF Hoarding Center is designed to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information about hoarding and its treatment. The Center has five goals, which includes educating the general public about hoarding, Facilitating education and training of human service personnel including mental health, social services, public health and housing as well as police and fire officials, supporting research into the causes of and effective treatments for hoarding, improving access to resources for those with hoarding disorder and their families, as well as clinicians and service personnel, and advocating and lobbying for public policy change as it affects people who hoard, their families and community members.

Mass Housing Hoarding Resources

800-882-1154 (Toll-Free)


Email: rsupport@masshousing.com

The Mass Housing organization provides a comprehensive list of organizations and resources to help address hoarding. This website includes information about hoarding, how to assess it, best practices in trying to help someone struggling with hoarding, and local resources both for the person who is hoarding as well as family members who are being impacted.

Massachusetts Department of Mental Health


TTY: 617-727-9842

Emergency/Crisis Line - Available 24 Hours (877) 382-1609

DMH Information and Resource Line Voicemail Box (800) 221-0053

Email: dmhinfo@state.ma.us

The Department of Mental Health, as the State Mental Health Authority, assures and provides access to services and supports to meet the mental health needs of individuals of all ages, enabling them to live, work and participate in their communities. This critical mission is accomplished by working in partnership with other state agencies, individuals, families, providers and communities.

OCD Massachusetts: An Official Affiliate of the International OCD Foundation

(617) 855-8623

Email: info@ocdmassachusetts.org

Founded in 1995, OCD Massachusetts is a non-profit affiliate of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF). OCD Massachusetts is a locally based group made up of people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and related disorders, as well as their families, friends, professionals and others. Their website contains helpful information on OCD, it's treatment, and communicating with insurance companies. This website also offers information on local events and resources in Massachusetts, including potential providers and support groups, research studies in the area focused on OCD,  lectures, and OCD awareness week. 

Outside Massachusetts

Organizations with hotlines

Mental Health America

1-800-273-TALK (8255) - 24-hour crisis center

Office: 703-684-7722

Toll Free: 800-969-6642

Mental Health America (formerly known as the National Mental Health Association) is the nation's leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans. Their work is driven by the commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services for all; early identification and intervention for those at risk; integrated care, services, and supports for those who need it; with recovery as the goal.

Organizations without hotlines

Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)


Email: information@adaa.org

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) - formerly The Anxiety Disorders Association of America - is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the prevention, treatment and cure of anxiety disorders and to improve the lives of all people who suffer from them. ADAA is dedicated to informing the public, health care professionals, and media that anxiety disorders are real, serious, and treatable. ADAA promotes professional and public awareness of anxiety and related disorders (such as PTSD, OCD, panic disorder, social anxiety) and their impact on people's lives. The organization also links people who need treatment with the health care professionals who provide it. The ADAA website also provides listings of anxiety disorder support groups offered across the United States.

Children of Hoarders: National

Children of Hoarders, Inc is a not-for profit organization made up of volunteer Children of Hoarders (COH), dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of the unique challenges facing children of hoarders while helping them to support themselves and each other. COH, Inc provides extensive resources on what hoarding looks like, various types, suggestions and available support for not only children worried about family members hoarding but also spouses or other loved ones. The website also provides opportunities to connect with others impacted by hoarding through online groups and forums.

Geriatric Mental Health Foundation

(703) 556-9222

Email: main@aagponline.org

The Geriatric Mental Health Foundation was established by the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry to raise awareness of psychiatric and mental health disorders affecting the elderly, eliminate the stigma of mental illness and treatment, promote healthy aging strategies, and increase access to quality mental health care for the elderly. Explore the site for mental health information for older adults and their families, to find a geriatric psychiatrist, for news of Foundation programs and events, and much more.

The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

Main Line: 646-681-4888

Toll Free: 800-829-8289

Email: info@bbrfoundation.org

The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (formerly NARSAD, the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression) is committed to alleviating the suffering of mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research. The BBR Foundation offers news on the research it funds as well as information (documents and videos) about these and other disorders in children and adults. It also provides guidance and resources for families coping with a child or parent with mental illness.

Worry Wise Kids

This site was launched because of the urgent need to address the growing needs of our children to be equipped to cope with and overcome the stress, worry and anxieties in their life. Their mission is to improve the quality of life for anxious children and their families by providing parents, educators and mental health professionals with comprehensive, user-friendly information on the full range of anxiety disorders. Because children may be secretive about their worries and suffer in silence, their goal is to help adults who care about kids to be on the lookout for red flags. They offer information about treatment options, kid-friendly explanations for the mechanisms that create and maintain anxiety, parenting do's and don'ts, how to handle school issues and more.