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Mason Noise visits Eastbury Community School to welcome Elvis' return
Added: 10th Nov 2017

SANE ambassador Mason Noise joined pupils from Eastbury Community School to welcome back a very special four-legged guest.

Elvis, a 3ft fibreglass sculpture who is part of SANE’s Black Dog Campaign, returned to the Barking school on Friday with a revamped plinth.

Elvis was delivered by SANE’s new partners AnyVan, who have volunteered to transport the charity’s statues across the UK for free in their ‘Magic Van’.

Megan Greet, school lead on student mental health at Eastbury Community School, says: “At Eastbury, we have been delighted to work with SANE to raise awareness about mental health issues and embed a culture of openness regarding mental wellbeing that places our pupils in a position to thrive. Hosting the Black Dog has provided a visual reminder for our pupils that it is okay not to be okay, and that there is help available in and outside of school. Our mental health ambassadors are especially thrilled to see Elvis return and use him to signpost other pupils towards our peer-to-peer and buddying systems of wellbeing support.”

David Dickson, executive head teacher, says: “Student wellbeing and mental health are of paramount importance at Eastbury. I am very pleased that I have ambitious and caring staff, who are leading the way with SANE, striving for world-class provision and outcomes.”

Mason Noise, who came seventh on the 2015 series of The X Factor, says: “Having struggled in the past with the Black Dog of depression myself, it’s no surprise to me that so many young people are being affected – but the way SANE work is to try and support those who need it. Depression doesn’t discriminate, and it’s time that we spread the word that it's more common than most still think, especially in schools. Whether we suffer from a mental illness or not, we all let external things dictate our inner being. Anxiety, anger and depression affects us all to some degree – it’s time to inspire people to help our friends, family and classmates fight back.”

It is estimated that one in 10 young people experience a mental health problem which, if left untreated, can continue into adulthood. It is therefore important that young people become aware of the symptoms of mental ill-health and feel able to talk freely without the fear of being judged or discriminated against.

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of SANE, says: “We are thrilled that Eastbury Community School have joined us again in our campaign to tackle mental health discrimination. What our Black Dog Campaign seems to have achieved is liberating the language of mental health so that young people can talk more openly and seek help more readily.”

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