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Hope arrives on Dundee campus
Added: 11th Jun 2018

A striking new sculpture has been unveiled on University of Dundee’s city campus - Hope, a large black dog from the leading UK mental health charity SANE.

The 3ft fibreglass statue, part of SANE’s successful Black Dog Campaign, now stands at the heart of the city campus to remind students and staff about the importance of talking about mental health.

Dr Shirley Hill, head of disability services at the University of Dundee, said, “We believe Hope’s presence will help to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and encourage members of the public and the university community to seek help early.

“The university offers confidential, mental health advice and support to students and staff, including through our mental health, counselling, and disability services based in the Support Hub.”

The Black Dog has been used from classical mythology through medieval folklore to modern times as a universal metaphor for depression. Imposing sculptures of Black Dogs wearing coats designed by artists, celebrities or others stand on a plinth featuring SANEline and other sources of help.

Hope’s coat was designed by adult-nursing student Laura Campbell and Hope’s name was chosen by university rector and world-record breaking cyclist Mark Beaumont.

Mark says: “University can sometimes be an uphill struggle for students. It’s important to remember you are not invincible and not alone. Making the most of the student services Dundee provides is key to ensuring a friendly campus, where students and staff look out for each other’s wellbeing.”

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of SANE, says: “We are delighted that the University of Dundee is the latest Scottish university to adopt our Black Dog, showing a commitment to raising awareness of student mental health. 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.”

Hope is the 13th member of SANE’s pack of dogs, and joins statues at other locations including St Andrews University and Scotland’s Rural College in Ayr.

The Black Dog 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’.

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