Design can save lives

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The British Safety Council revealed the winners of its multimedia poster competition, ‘Images of wellbeing’, last month which showcased images of wellbeing at work and in an educational environment.

The British Safety Council has a proud legacy of producing posters to inform, educate and campaign for safety, health and wellbeing in the workplace. For 60 years, our posters were a striking and often humorous reflection of the developments that transformed the workplace in Britain. Their subjects ranged from occupational health and safety matters to headline news.

Today, employees face new risks to their health and wellbeing, as companies move away from traditional work practices. New technologies, long hours and remote working affect people’s wellbeing and can lead to mental health problems, which are particularly prevalent among men and young people.

Matthew Holder, head of campaigns at the British Safety Council, said: “The results of our competition have shown that wellbeing and mental health are at the forefront of young people’s minds. The poster competition has proved to be a good barometer of their concerns about mental health, the workplace environment and the practices that adversely affect employee wellbeing.

“Workplace wellbeing is of paramount importance to young people. Their commitment to their employers will depend on how they look after their physical, psychological and mental wellbeing.”

The winner in the Under 21 category, Colin Orr, a student of graphic design at Edinburgh College of Art, said: “It’s estimated that one in five teenagers will experience depression prior to adulthood, with only three in every 10 teens receiving the support they need. The main causes of teen depression are academic pressures and cyberbullying. That’s why I intended the poster to be displayed in schools, where mental health awareness tends to be limited.

“I wanted to let young people know that depression isn’t always extreme but is very common. They shouldn’t feel deterred from receiving help because they don’t think they’re ‘bad enough’.

I avoided seeking help despite showing obvious signs of moderate depression. One of the first warning signs of being depressed is spending a lot of time in bed. My poster suggests that you should worry about friends who sleep in the afternoon.”

Colin Orr won the Under 21 category for his poster

Rimsha Ahmed, the overall competition winner, who works as a marketing assistant at LYRA, in London, explained: “Wellbeing is key to a successful and happy career. It can be expressed in the simplest ways that make a working day more manageable and reduce an individual’s stress levels and anxiety.

“As an artist, I understand how a workspace influences an individual’s productivity; therefore, I focused on issues which can make an office a safer, healthier and more mindful environment in which to work, particularly during periods of stress. Having compassion for your peers, access to sunlight and even something as simple as the opportunity for a hot drink can make the working day more relaxing and comfortable, thus increasing employee productivity.”

The winner of the Moving Image poster is a three-person team from design agency Silver, consisting of Lidia Teasca, Amy Purvis and Robert Walsh. Lidia Teasca, said: “Our poster focuses on the importance of the connection between people as part of the five ways to achieve wellbeing. 

“Our intention is to use this poster alongside our Mental Health Task Force. We will have a dedicated wellness hub on our intranet to share information and advice, and to promote lifestyle changes that can help us all cope better with pressure and reduce stress. Spreading a positive attitude can influence other aspects of achieving wellbeing. Most importantly, we all need to realise that we can contribute to each-other’s wellbeing. It may be just a small part of what we do, but it should be 100% of who we are.”

Rimsha Ahmed, overall winner of the competition

More on the competition at: www.britsafe.org/about-us/press-releases



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