The Black Dog Ball

The Black Dog Ball coincides with Queensland Mental Health Week which, in 2018, runs from 6th to14th October. Mental Health Week is an annual national awareness event held every year to coincide with World Mental Health Day on 10th October each year. The Black Dog Ball is being staged on Saturday October 6 to mark the beginning of Mental Health Week this year.


The Black Dog Ball is a not for profit organisation, run by a committee of passionate volunteers who truly believe can make a difference. The Black Tie Event, now in its sixth year, is staged to raise awareness of the importance of mental health and wellbeing, and to remove the stigma associated with mental illness and depression. In addition to raising awareness, funds are also raised to benefit the Central Queensland community. Through consultation with mental health practitioners, community members and organisations, the Black Dog Ball Committee identify a CQ mental health initiative, organisation or group, where funds are required to provide maximum benefit to community members who are struggling with their mental health and may be at risk of suicide.


In 2018, The Black Dog Ball Committee are excited to announce that they are funding Anglicare Central Queensland’s Youth programs and initiatives of early intervention for young people at risk to prevent harm, homelessness, and negative health outcomes including mental illness. In light of young Dolly Everett’s passing earlier this year, the programs will include a focus on the prevention of youth suicide, through programs of awareness, resilience and education around on-line bullying. Our vision is to engage entire CQ communities to ensure ongoing support for our youth at risk..


History Of The Black Dog

From Winston Churchill there are lexicographical stepping stones back to the origins of the term black dog for depression, perhaps as early as 856 AD in the Annales Franorum. English literary stepping stones include figures such as Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sit Walter Scott and Samuel Johnson to Bartholomew de Granville, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles and Beowulf – almost a millennium of reference and suggestion of the black dog inhabiting troubled minds.


The black dog crossed into English literature from English folklore and from there into a terminology for depression. This lore was based upon Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Norman and Viking language and cultural influences: England’s inhabitants and invaders.


The black dog’s ancestors were dark demonic hellhounds. They bought fear to superstitious people, an explanation for the unknown and a link between this world and other worlds. Depression, melancholy or black bile, was not far removed from the devil’s hand. Today the black dog might have cast off the demons but not depression.


Richardson, S 2005, Histography and Meaning of the Depressed Black Dog, Black Dog Institute.

© Copyright 2018

Find us on