Lighthouse created visual content and visual experiences that enabled people struggling with mental health across workplaces to know they weren't alone and to feel empathized with.
By integrating the visual illustrations seamlessly into private and self-introspective environments for employees and people around the UAE, we created a completely new way to communicate about mental health, in a country where there are stigmas and misperceptions associated with the topic.
By having an open and honest dialogue with those who could be struggling with mental health issues, we brought the idea to life through an integrated cross-channel campaign, driving conversations and responses.
Describe any restrictions or regulations regarding Healthcare communications in your country/region (imposed by healthcare regulatory bodies, government, TV stations, etc.)
Mental health communications, prevalent in Western markets, are not seen as appropriate or effective in the UAE, especially in the workplaces, where not sharing one’s feelings or emotions helps people look strong and in control.
Additionally, all healthcare content has to be approved by professional healthcare bodies.
Describe the target audience
Long working hours. Financial and social pressures. Low work-life balance. Low physical activity. Workplace-related mental illness is a major issue affecting UAE. 60% UAE employees identify as stressed, describing offices and employment as the main cause. The UAE's unique workforce structure (80% expats, away from home) is also a factor.
15% of the UAE struggles with mental illness.
With financial pressures and poor work-life balance, workplace-related mental illness is one major issue.
But, the region isn’t open to discussing workplace mental health. There’s prevalent stigma around mental health in the UAE especially in workplaces, that stops people from seeking help.
Those coming out with mental health struggles, are seen as being weak, inefficient and unproductive. People have been conditioned to think that if they do get help, it is a sign of personal weakness. So, sufferers are unlikely to be forthcoming and ask for treatment, or even disclose their struggles to their employers. And many cases remain unspoken.
Describe the creative idea
Lighthouse Centre of Wellbeing made the unspoken, spoken through ‘unspoken, uae’.
Collecting real anxieties from Lighthouse’s clients, we got 28 regional artists to illustrate those struggles, depicting those unspoken feelings of the struggling with mental health issues.
And we invited those who were struggling, to talk to us about issues they were facing, by getting them to know that they were not alone and we were there to listen and understand what they were going through.
Describe the strategy
Owing to the stigma around mental health in workplaces, where not sharing one’s feelings or emotions helps people look strong and in control, a completely different way to achieve the goals of creating awareness for mental health was needed.
We used art as a universal language combined with the words of those suffering. By simplifying the message and connecting it to impactful visuals, we brought unspoken feelings to people who might be struggling with mental health issues.
In terms of connecting with people, we wanted to enable people to identify with the thoughts and feelings in the book in a private environment that would be self-introspective. All the quotes that people read in book are the real words of people who’ve been fighting life’s everyday challenges. The book shares how by having an open and honest dialogue with those who have wanted to listen and support, things have gotten better.
Describe the execution
The artists’ illustrations were compiled into a book of unspoken feelings.
Starting World Health Day on October 10, the books were distributed across 300 workplaces in the UAE, reaching them in a more intimate and personal space.
The book 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.
Targeted messages across UAE’s workplaces invited conversations.
Social media platforms, such as Instagram, extended the message.
Art exhibitions integrated the topic into UAE’s cultural scene.
An original fashion collection that was designed and created encouraged opening up.
Workplace workshops across the UAE were conducted.
Regional influencers joined in and spread the word.
Previously unspoken stories were now being spoken of.
List the results
Unprecedented $430,000 Earned Media Value for The Lighthouse Centre, as the idea was covered across leading regional media and news platforms, and it also reached media platforms globally.
+300% in search volumes for The Lighthouse Centre.
+330% social conversations around mental health in the UAE.
UAE insurance companies have started to cover psychology and psychiatry treatments.
A Mental Health Act by the Government is being conceptualized to aid those struggling.
+48% calls to Lighthouse.