“The shadow of the Black Dog touches us all, but it is possible to master and live with your mental illness so that it no longer dominates your life.” Marjorie Wallace, founder and CEO of SANE
SANE's vision is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. Normalising mental illness means that it will be perceived like any physical condition. The campaign will put mental health on the same level of importance as physical health: in terms of priority, range of treatments, funding, research and public understanding. SANE plans to reach and involve 500,000 people in support of the campaign aims:
The World Health Organisation predicts that by 2020 depression will be the world's most disabling condition, above cancer and AIDS. One in five people will experience depression at some point in their lives, and it underscores most mental illness. Surprisingly, we still do not know what causes the condition and therefore treatments and therapies vary.
The Black Dog has been used as a metaphor for depression from antiquity to the present day. To bring the campaign to life we have designed visually striking Black Dog statues. The physical presence of a Black Dog will help people to define their experience of the ‘invisible’ condition, which characterises mental illness, as well as promoting more open discussion, understanding and acceptance. In order to deliver a positive message of support, the black dogs will have a ‘collar of hope’ and wear ‘coats’ designed by celebrities, artists and members of the public.
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