Who is #BlackDogRunner?
I am one of the 1 in 4. The quarter of the population who have, or will, experience mental health problems in their lifetime. For me, this comes in the form of depression, or my black dog (Fido).
I call myself #BlackDogRunner because on 7th September 2014, I ran the Great North Run half marathon dressed as a black dog to raise awareness of depression. I also use running, alongside medication, and therapy, to help control my black dog.
What is the aim of #BlackDogRunner?
I appear as my black dog to make it harder for him, and all black dogs everywhere, to hide behind the veil of stigma. #BlackDogRunner was created both as a symbol (of the millions of invisible black dogs that haunt their owners but remain unmentioned) and a vigilante (to fight mental health stigma by raising awareness and reducing ignorance).
Tell me about the #BlackDogRunner blog?
I will use the blog to share my thoughts and experiences of living with depression and of mental health issues generally. I am keen to reach out, so hope to do this in a light-hearted and accessible way – but this may not always be possible, so be prepared for some brutal honestly, or the odd rant. It might get personal, it might get political. But the more I say, and the more I do, the more I hope to fight stigma and ignorance.
How can I help #BlackDogRunner?
Read the blog, comment on the blog, share the blog. Follow me on Twitter. Follow me on Facebook. Use the #BlackDogRunner hashtag. The more people know about #BlackDogRunner, the stronger the symbol becomes.