My Black Dog – The Power of Empathy

15/03/2022 | Online Zoom Conferencing

One in four people with Mental Health problems have to wait at least three months to start NHS treatment, and some do not get help for up to four years. By this point they are at crisis point, and in some cases have decided life is not worth living any more. 

What if these people could be reached before they get to crisis point, what if they could speak to someone who would listen without judgement and really understood how they felt? What if that person was someone who had dealt with mental health problems, knew what it was like to struggle with anxiety, depression, PTSD or a multitude of other issues and would create a safe space to talk, without waiting lists.

My Black Dog is a free, confidential, online chat service. No personal details are taken, no time frame is followed and guests can visit as many times as they would like. 

For people who are waiting for professional help, or who have finished their allocated treatment and still need support, My Black Dog is a vital service ensuring those people always have someone to talk to. Our focus is on preventative care, making sure people get help in the early stages of mental health struggles and ultimately for less people to find themselves at a crisis point. 

My Black Dog – talk to someone who gets it. 

About the speakers

Niki Clarke – CEO Founder
Niki Clarke is the Founder and CEO of My Black Dog. Niki has struggled with clinical depression for most of her life, through her own experiences of feeling isolated and judged about her mental health, she wanted to create an inclusive and non-judgemental space for people to talk with others who have a lived experience. My Black Dog became a charity in 2019 and saw a 2000% increase in people using the service during lockdown. Niki’s goal is to raise funds and awareness of My Black Dog in order to reach more people who are struggling through dark days.

Mark Glenister – Operations Associate
Mark has dealt with depression and anxiety for most of his adult life. He initially became a volunteer for My Black Dog in July 2020 after being made redundant from his role in Hospitality. He looks after the day to day running of the charity, with an emphasis of ensuring shifts are covered, and that guests obtain they best support they can from the team of over 70 Volunteers – Mark is firm believer in the power of community, and has created a volunteer community within My Black Dog that supports and looks after each other, all the volunteers have lived experiences of Mental Health issues and the community is vital for their recovery as much as the guests.