By Egotist / /
Mental illness knows no borders. And in the UAE, it’s no different. In fact, 2 of the top 3 causes of ill-health are anxiety and depression. And workplace-related mental health is a primary issue affecting people. Long working hours. Financial pressures. Lack of work-life balance. Lack of physical activity. Social pressures. 60% of UAE employees who identified as stressed, described their offices and employment as the main cause.
The region isn’t a place where uncomfortable topics like mental health are discussed openly. Any issues relating to mental health are seen as a weakness and shameful, especially in the workplace — leaving those who are struggling with stress, depression and anxiety to feel confused, overwhelmed and alone.
The Lighthouse Centre for Well-Being is a leading community mental health and wellness clinic in the UAE, providing quality psychological care to children, adults, couples and families. And the clinic wanted to help play a meaningful role when it came to the topic of mental health in the UAE.
Owing to the stigma and perception around mental health, through concept testing, McCann Health Dubai discovered that mental health communications, prevalent in Western markets, were not going to be appropriate or effective in the UAE. So, a selection of unspoken and untold feelings was collected from those under the care of Lighthouse who were dealing with mental health issues but hadn’t spoken to anyone about their issues earlier.
With over 20 artists, from all over the region, unique illustrations were created, depicting the unspoken feelings of those struggling with mental health issues. Those illustrations were then compiled, along with the relevant quotations, and a book, titled ‘unspoken, uae’, was published and distributed to workplaces, speaking to employees across companies in their own words.
By simplifying the message and connecting it to impactful visuals, Lighthouse has created a piece of communication that has enabled people in workplaces to identify with the thoughts and feelings in the book in an environment that was private and self-introspective. All the quotes that people read in the book are the real words of people who have been fighting life’s everyday challenges. And by having an open and honest dialogue with those who have wanted to listen and support, things have gotten better
This book has been circulated and is being circulated across workplaces and companies in the UAE. It has a contact page at the end that encourages those resonating with the feelings and emotions in the book, to remember that they are not alone, and prompts them to reach out and contact Lighthouse should they feel the need to talk.
Check out the book in PDF form here.