Deloitte partners with SANE’s Black Dog Campaign to address workplace mental health
Deloitte, the business advisory firm, is to unveil its SANE Black Dog sculpture today, to mark the firm’s commitment and ongoing campaign to support the mental health and wellbeing of staff. The launch event will take place at its London offices in New Street Square.
Deloitte, is working with the charity SANE, to help reduce stigma around mental health and want to encourage staff to come forward to tame their ‘Black Dog’. Recent research by the European Depression Association (EDA) suggests one in four British employees has been diagnosed with depression; this is the highest in Europe at 26% and British employees are amongst the most likely to take time off work due to depression.
John Binns, a senior partner at Deloitte, who has suffered from depression, said: “It is great that Deloitte has a SANE Black Dog in the reception area for all employees and visitors to see. Nomi, the dog, is part of an on-going programme Deloitte has created to make mental health in the workplace something staff can discuss openly, and get help for.”
SANE launched its nationwide Black Dog Campaign in September 2011. It seeks to normalise mental illnesses, such as depression, so it is viewed in the same way a physical condition would be. The Black Dog statues aim to help people define their experience of this ‘invisible’ condition, as well as promoting more open discussion, understanding and acceptance.
Binns continued: “Staff at Deloitte have known about the arrival of the ‘Black Dog’ for some time now, and have been encouraged to get involved with naming it and designing a coat for it. We want all staff involved as it helps raise awareness across the firm that mental health can become a serious issue. I suffered from depression, which I didn’t want to talk about or deal with until it got too much, and I was forced to take leave for several months.
“I was pleasantly surprised when my managing partner spoke to me, and helped me return to work, when I felt ready to do so. This inspired me to set up the Mental Health Champions, which is a group of partners at the firm who have been trained to have the initial conversation with any employee who feels like they might have a mental health issue. By tackling these issues head on and speaking out about them, there might be someone who can help you deal with the issue before it gets out of control, and affects your life even more.”
At the event, SANE will also launch Send a Text Save a Life, which aims to provide encouragement and guidance for people to take action when they are concerned about the welfare of someone they care about, before problems escalate. The simple act of sending a text message can save someone in distress from unnecessary suffering by reminding them that others care for them and that help is available.
Commenting on SANE’s Black Dog campaign partnership with Deloitte and Send a Text Save a Life, Marjorie Wallace, SANE’s CEO said: “SANE’s Black Dog campaign is taking strides with improving mental health awareness, not only in public but in the workplace. We now have eight handsome fellows with dazzling coats in prominent places for everyone to see: Horace, Homer, Hugo, Harry, Kalman, Elvis, Salty Dog and now Nomi.
“Everyone knows somebody who they think is feeling low and possibly worse, but we’re all nervous of treading on egg shells and don’t quite know how to express concern. Send a Text Save a Life gives an easy way to show that concern which could make a huge difference to people in daily life.”