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X Factor star Mason Noise visits Barking school as part of mental health awareness campaign

PUBLISHED: 17:25 10 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:25 10 November 2017

X Factor star Mason Noise with Elvis from the national charity SANE's Black Dog Campaign

X Factor star Mason Noise with Elvis from the national charity SANE's Black Dog Campaign

Archant

Former X Factor star Mason Noise paid a visit to Eastbury Community School to raise awareness of depression.

The singer, who came seventh on the 2015 series of the ITV talent show, was joined by Elvis, a fibreglass statue of a black dog, as part of mental heath charity Sane’s black dog campaign.

The black dog has been a metaphor for depression for centuries, having featured in classical mythology and medieval folklore.

Sane has placed sculptures of black dogs in business foyers, parks and shopping centres across the country, as well as in schools and universities, to raise awareness of the fact that it is ok not to be ok.

Pupils from the Hulse Avenue, Barking school helped to revamp Elvis’ plinth with their own designs and Mason, who is an ambassador for Sane, visited the school to mark the dog’s return.

He said: “Having struggled in the past with the Black Dog of depression myself, it’s no surprise to me that so many young people are being affected – but the way Sane works is to try and support those who need it.

“Depression doesn’t discriminate, and it’s time that we spread the word that it’s more common than most still think, especially in schools.

“Anxiety, anger and depression affects us all to some degree – it’s time to inspire people to help our friends, family and classmates fight back.”

Megan Greet, school lead on student mental health, added: “At Eastbury, we have been delighted to work with Sane to raise awareness about mental health issues and embed a culture of openness regarding mental wellbeing that places our pupils in a position to thrive.

“Hosting the black dog has provided a visual reminder for our pupils that it is okay not to be okay, and that there is help available in and outside of school.

“Our mental health ambassadors are especially thrilled to see Elvis return and use him to signpost other pupils towards our peer-to-peer and buddying systems of wellbeing support.”

It is estimated that one in 10 people experience a mental health problem during adolescence.

Sane aims to make young people aware of symptoms and feel able to talk freely about mental health issues without the fear of being judged or discriminated against.

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