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Black Dog Campaign

Black Dog Campaign


The Black Dog Campaign was created as a celebration of our 25th anniversary in order to highlight depression and other mental health conditions, and encourage people to seek help. It has since proved immensley popular and is still growing in strength and numbers of supporters.

The image of the Black Dog has been used from classical mythology through medieval folklore to modern times as a universal metaphor for depression and other mental illnesses. Sir Winston Churchill famously used it to describe his darker moods. Today the image represents the commitment of our campaign to raise awareness of mental illness. By encapsulating mental illness through the physical manifestation of the Black Dog, we enable people to visualise just how powerful, dominating and unpredictable it can be, whilst simultaneously affording them hope: dogs, like mental health conditions, can be tamed.


Black Dog Statues


Our Black Dog statues are placed in business foyers, public parks, and shopping centres throughout the UK. The statues wear coats designed by artists, celebrities and schoolchildren, and stand on a plinth featuring SANEline and other sources of help. They have also been popular during tours of schools and universities, encouraging people to find a more accessible language in which to express feelings of anxiety, loneliness or despair.

For more about the current dogs and their owners, click here.


Black Dog Events


The Black Dog Campaign is supported by a team of volunteers led by university students and other young adults. They work with schools, universities, businesses, charities and youth services all over the country. Workshops, panel discussions, yoga and wellbeing events, speeches, and fundraising activities are just some of the continual efforts of the team.

We are developing a programme with universities and other institutions to support students, academics and staff. Central to this will be awareness workshops, which aim to get to the heart of what mental health is and how stigma can influence perceptions and prevent people from seeking help.

We already worked with Dundee University, Fife College, Northumbria University, Oxford University, Scotland’s Rural College, St Andrew’s University, and several more institutions.

"SANE does a fantastic job of explaining mental health in terms of experiences that everyone can relate to, so that people who have never had mental health problems can get a sense of others’ experiences. Everyone found it very worthwhile and many stayed around afterwards to continue the discussion." - Student at Oxford University on a Black Dog Campaign

To get involved with the Black Dog Campaign or to enquire about an event for your organisation, email blackdogcampaign@sane.org.uk.