Depression is sometimes referred to as the “Black Dog.” Just like a real dog, its needs to be embraced, understood, taught new tricks and ultimately brought to heel.
Millions of people around the world live with depression. Most of the people affected, 75 percent in many low-income countries, do not have access to the treatment they need. Without treatment, these individuals suffer greatly, but so too do their families. In an effort to increase awareness about depression and specifically for caregivers of those living with depression, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released an animated video called “Living with a Black Dog.” The video offers support to those living with and caring for people with depression and information on what to do, what not to do, and where to go for help.
For the signs or symptoms of depression, watch the proceeding animated video called “I Had a Black Dog,” that has now had more than 4.36 million views.
Both videos were written and animated by an Australian couple, Matthew and Ainsley Johnstone. The videos poignantly capture much of what they have learned through their own experiences of dealing with Matthew’s depression.
The WHO has become a world leader on pushing for programs that recognize the important role that mental health plays in achieving overall human health. For example, their Mental Health Gap Action Programme aims at scaling up services for mental health and addictions issues for countries especially with low- and middle-income. The programme asserts that with proper care, psychosocial assistance and medication, tens of millions could be treated for depression, schizophrenia, and epilepsy, prevented from suicide and begin to lead normal lives – even where resources are scarce.