Designer Steuart Padwick in front of one of the 'Talk To Me' sculptures © Tim Cole
For this year’s designjunction; part of The London Design Festival 2019, multi-award-winning British designer Steuart Padwick installed two monumental sculptures, titled ‘Talk to Me’, along King’s Boulevard in Kings Cross, London.
Following 2018's 'Head Above Water', Steuart once again teamed up with Ramboll to create the sculptures. Supporting Time to Change, the figures remind us that through communication the weight and burden of mental health struggles, that so many of us carry, can be lessened.
The sculptures have now been relocated to Cody Dock in Canning Town, London, on the banks of the river Lea. As passers-by approach the interactive giant cuboid wooden figures, a proximity sensor is triggered and they begin to voice poignant and uplifting words. Written by poets, actors and mental health ambassadors, these conversations start to crack the ‘burden’ to release a glowing light.
Steuart has released a short film on ‘Talk to Me’ today on World Mental Health Day.
Alan Dowdall, Ramboll Associate, comments: “Ramboll is delighted to have worked with Steuart on another inspiring and thought-provoking piece. As a pledged ‘Time to Change’ employer, the message on communication and mental health resonates with us and our commitments to change our industry’s attitude and behaviours for the better.”
Now in its 27th year, World Mental Health Day celebrates awareness in an empathetic way, with a unifying voice, helping those feel hopeful by empowering them to take action and to create lasting change.
The theme of this year’s event is suicide and suicide prevention. Every year close to 800,000 people take their own life globally and there are many more people who attempt suicide. Every suicide is a tragedy that affects families, communities and has long-lasting effects on the people left behind. It is the leading cause of death among young people aged 20-34 years in the UK and is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds worldwide.
In the UK, approximately 1 in 4 people experience mental health problems each year and the risk of suicide for those working in building and construction trades are 1.6 times higher than the national average, between the period of 2011-2015. (Source: Construction News).
Run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, Time to Change is a growing social movement working with schools, employers and communities to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems.
In 2018, Ramboll signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge:
"We pledge to empower all our staff to speak openly and confidently about mental health and wellbeing, seek appropriate and easily accessible support without fear of stigma, and respond with empathy to the needs of colleagues experiencing mental health issues."
Tackling stigma and discrimination and developing a culture where people feel able to talk openly about their mental health problems should be a number one priority within organisations. Ramboll’s own Wellbeing network is dedicated to improving our teams emotional and physical wellbeing. Our Employee Assistance Partner provides a free and confidential employee assistance and, as part of our Time to Change pledge, we recently appointed a network of Mental Health First Aiders across the UK ensuring appropriate support is available to all employees at the earliest opportunity. Find out more about Ramboll's diversity and inclusion principles here.
If you’re worried about a colleague, friend or family member, asking twice can show you’re really interested and willing to hear their response – whether that’s straight away or later. Without support from others, people with mental health problems can lose what they care about most. So, if someone you know is acting differently, be sure to #AskTwice from today.
For designjunction 2019, multi-award-winning British designer Steuart Padwick teamed up with Time to Change to create two monumental interactive sculptures that tower over visitors to Kings Cross, London, in a bid to further the conversation about the capital’s mental health.
Jutting out into the River Thames from Gabriel’s Pier, stood Head Above Water, a 9-meter-high, interactive, Cross Laminated Timber sculpture. Creating a dramatic change to London’s skyline its intention was to provoke discussion to end mental health-related stigma and discrimination.