The 'Unspoken, UAE' a book designed to approach mental health issue in the workplace
Posted on February 15, 2019

Issues relating to mental health are seen as a weakness and shameful, especially in the workplace and are never discussed openly. The Lighthouse Centre for Well-Being with the support of McCann Health Dubai wanted to break this taboo, and help in a meaningful role when it came to the topic of mental health in the UAE.

Mental illness knows no borders. The fact that there’s not enough information about mental health statistics points to a pertinent issue that sufferers are unlikely to be forthcoming with regards to asking for treatment, or even disclosing their struggles to friends, family or employers.
Moreover, 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 unique structure of the workforce in the UAE with over 80% expats, living away from home, is also a factor. Yet the biggest problem is that any issues relating to mental health are seen as a weakness and shameful, especially in the workplace and are never discussed openly.
Therefore, the Lighthouse Centre for Well-Being, a leading community mental health and wellness clinic in the UAE, wanted to help play a meaningful role when it came to the topic of mental health in the UAE.
With the help of McCann Health Dubai, they thought to approach this issue in a completely different way than in western countries.
With over 20 artists, from all over the region, unique visual illustrations were created, depicting those unspoken feelings of those struggling with mental health issues. The illustrations were then compiled, along with the relevant quotations, and a beautiful  black and white book, titled ‘unspoken, uae’, was published and distributed to workplaces, speaking to employees across companies in their own simple 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 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 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.


Credits:

Client: The Lighthouse Centre for Well-Being, UAE
Agency: McCann Health Dubai and FP7 McCann Dubai
General Manager: Karen Kamel
Regional Head of Strategy & Truth Central MENAT: Tahaab Rais -
Creative Director: Robert Gibbs  
Head of Design: Haneen Chaarawi
Senior Account Director: Vicky Kriplani
Account Manager: Zainab Mustafa
Graphic Designer: Kurt Daley -
Health Designer: Kara Marie Guingona  
Creative Artworker: Asif Khan