Ever since Winston Churchill popularised the phrase Black Dog to describe the bouts of depression he experienced for much of his life, it has become the shorthand for the disease that millions of people suffer from, often in shame and silence.
Artist and writer Matthew Johnstone, a sufferer himself, has written and illustrated this moving and uplifting insight into what it is like to have a Black Dog as a companion. It shows that strength and support that can be found within and around us to tame it. Black Dog can be a terrible beast, but with the right steps can be brought to heel.
Matthew Johnstone had 15 years + as a creative in advertising where he worked in Sydney, San Francisco and New York. He worked for some of the world’s best agencies and won many industry awards.
In 2005 he published I Had a Black Dog an illustrated book on what it is to suffer depression and what can be learnt from it. This book has been a best seller and is now published in 20+ countries.
In 2008, with his wife Ainsley, he published the sequel Living With a Black Dog, a guide to those who care for people living with depression. This also was a best seller and made the top 10 best-selling books in the UK in February 2009.
In October 2009 Matthew, along with his co-author; James Kerr, published Alphabet of the Human Heart: The A to Zen of Life. It’s a book about balance. This book went to number 3 in the UK in March 2011.
His new book, Quiet the Mind is an illustrated guide on how to meditate which came out in March 2012 and went to number 1 in the UK book sales.
His two latest books: The Big Little Book of Resilience and Capturing MIndfulness
Matthew also works as the Creative Director of the Black Dog Institute developing various creative, educational programs on understanding mental health, mood disorders, mindfulness and resilience for schools and the work place.
He also delivers talks to community groups, schools, corporations, health resorts, sporting groups and the farming community. He has talked extensively all over Australia and the UK.
When he’s not working for the Institute he is an author, illustrator and father of two.