Business advisory firm Deloitte has unveiled a black dog statue at is London offices. The statue is a symbol of the firm’s commitment to the Black Dog campaign run by Sane, the mental health charity, to support the mental health and wellbeing of staff.
Deloitte has been working with Sane since September 2011 to remove the perceived stigma around mental health issues and to encourage staff to come forward to tame their ‘black dog’.
John Binns, a senior partner at Deloitte, who has suffered from depression, and now leads the firm’s mental health champions initiative, 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 ongoing programme Deloitte has created to make mental health in the workplace something staff can discuss openly, and get help for.”
The Black Dog campaign seeks to normalise mental illnesses, such as depression, so it is viewed in the same way a physical condition would be. The dog statues, issued by Sane, aim to help people define their experience of this invisible condition, as well as promoting more open discussion, understanding and acceptance.
Binns added: “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 because 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.”