Black Dog Tribe calls on employers to shake off old taboos and do more to help colleagues cope with depression at work
Tough economic times combined with rising levels of job uncertainty boost levels of stress and psychological ill-health, says Black Dog Tribe’s (www.blackdogtribe.com) resident expert Dr Tim Anstiss.
LONDON – Tuesday 22nd May 2012: Depression at work is not an uncommon story. But, depression is on the rise and old taboos linked to talking about depression at work remain. To coincide with the launch of Mental Health Awareness Week 2012 (21-27 May www.mentalhealthorg.co.uk ) Black Dog Tribe, a social site co-founded by Ruby Wax, is calling on employers to open the doors to communication, and encourage discussion to help raise awareness about depression and mental health at work.
Mental health and well-being of employees is important, and yet frequently swept under the carpet. Businesses can adopt simple steps to improve the quality of the psychological work climate. Black Dog Tribe’s resident expert Dr Tim Anstiss, medical director at the Academy for Health Coaching, recommends the following actions:
Dr Anstiss commented; “Depression in the workplace is an important issue which often goes unnoticed by management teams. There is a general lack of awareness within companies, small and large, on how to address depression and mental health at work. It is still frequently seen as an ‘off-limits’ subject. Opening channels to discussion can help reduce feelings of anguish, isolation and anxiety caused by depression. Social sites like www.blackdogtribe.com can make all the difference.”
Black Dog tribe is also supporting Mental Health Awareness Week 2012 with a series of activities in www.blackdogtribe.com throughout the week including:
Mental health Q&A with Dr Tim Anstiss – 4 to 5pm
Dr Tim Anstiss will be joining us on BlackDogTribe.com every day this week between 4pm and 5pm to answer questions on mental health and to discuss mental health as a positive concept. Black Dog Tribe supporters are encouraged to send in their questions to firstname.lastname@example.org before 3pm daily.
Dr Tim Anstiss is trained in medicine, cognitive behavioural and interpersonal therapy, and spends much of this time sharing insights from the emerging science of positive psychology with individuals, teams and organisations. For more information see his personal website, The Academy for Health Coaching or The Applied Wellbeing website.
Launch of video tips
Grace Jones, a recent winner of Black Dog Tribe’s Tea at the Ritz competition and an assistant producer for Discovery, will be putting together a series of light hearted video tips for the week.
Daily feel good quotes
Need inspiration? Black Dog Tribe will be posting daily feel good quotes.
Tea at the Ritz with Ruby Wax during Mental Health Awareness Week
The 10 winners of Black Dog Tribe’s competition plus one lucky winner from last week will meet Ruby Wax at The Ritz, London, for tea on 29th May. Winning stories will be posted each day.
Tribers blog for Black Dog Tribe about their experiences
Throughout the week we also have some fantastic guest bloggers writing about their experience surrounding depression and mental health for BlackDogTribe.com. Key topics will include – Bipolar, Post Natal Depression, Children with Mental Health Issues, and Depression. Visit the site to read personal and insightful accounts of what depression is like and learn more about mental health problems.
BlackDogTribe.com aims to give the one in four who suffers from poor mental health a voice by bringing them together online. The project has the support of leading UK mental health charities Mind www.mind.org.uk and SANE www.sane.org.uk .
Mental illness does not discriminate, it does stigmatise
For media enquiries please contact Harriet Subramanian at email@example.com or telephone 07949 626375.
Notes to Editors:
The phrase ‘Black Dog’ was popularised by Britain’s wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill to describe the depression from which he suffered.
Black Dog Tribe
Black Dog Tribe officially launched in February 2012. If you’re affected by mental illness and want a place where you can talk to people like you, visit www.blackdogtribe.com
Ruby Wax studied psychology at the University of California and acting at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. She made a name for herself in the 1980s as part of the alternative comedy scene, and has gone on to work with the BBC for over 25 years on shows such as Don’t Miss Wax (1985-87), Full Wax (1989-94,) Ruby Wax Meets (1996-1998), Ruby (1997-2000) and Ruby Wax With (2003). She has trained as a psychotherapist, and is currently doing a master’s degree in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, which incorporates neuroscience, at the University of Oxford. Combing this knowledge of neuroscience with a successful 25 years in television, she runs management workshops for business leaders enabling them to find a deeper and more direct level of communication with their clients and colleagues. For more information, please visit www.rubywaxleadership.co.uk
It was after performing her comedy show Losing It that Ruby had a conversation with her friend, internet entrepreneur Nina Storms which led them to develop a site where people could find ‘like minds’ and form ‘tribes’ with people, with whom they could really talk about what they were experiencing and the challenges they face.
Nina Storms received her honorary doctorate in 2004 as an acknowledgement for her achievement as an entrepreneur in the information technology industry. She set up World Online in 1995, which at the time was one of the largest pan-European internet companies. She is currently active with charity work and advising her family in their investment foundation which focuses on European New Media endeavours.
Research has demonstrated that 1 in 4 people has some form of mental illness and other related issues ranging from outright depression to anxieties, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and other related issues. (The Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity report, 2001)
 According to the World Health Organisation see, www.who.int/mental_health/management/depression/definition/en/