Three student artists at Walsall College have been congratulated by Public Health Walsall for producing artwork with positive mental wellbeing messages for local people.
Steven Goncalves, Hamza Shaebi and Faiz Fatima took first, second and third place in a competition set by Public Health Walsall showing what mental wellbeing means to them.
Using emoji-style faces, stars and hearts, group photographs of young people and slogans such as ‘Together we can’ and ‘It’s okay to be not okay’, the Level 3 Graphic Design students came up with campaign-style artwork using black and white or primary colours.
They each received Amazon vouchers as prizes and their work may also appear in the Director of Public Health Annual Report 2022.
Angela Aitken, Senior Programme Development and Commissioning Manager for Public Health Walsall said: “By running the competition, we hoped to receive a range of images to promote positive mental wellbeing, promote how we can look after our own mental wellbeing, and support the mental wellbeing of friends, family members and those we meet throughout the day.
“Our winners took very different approaches which were all impressive. It’s wonderful to see how passionate they are about reaching out to and reassuring those in need that support and empathy is out there.”
Stephen, who is studying a Level 3 Graphic Design course said: “Mental health awareness is something we talk about all the time at college, so entering this competition tied in well with this.
“We each took inspiration from imagery we’d seen before or from people we knew, so our work was very personal to us. We hope people take lots of good things from it.”
Classmate, Hamza, said: “Although mental health is a personal thing, I think the people around can play a big part in getting you through the tough times. Anyone worried or upset can get help, either by coming forward and admitting they’re not okay or responding to someone offering support. This is what my artwork was all about. I used red, yellow and blue highlights across my photography to bring my message to life.”
Faiz added: “I was inspired to create something dedicated to my sister who has struggled with her feelings in the past. I added my ‘It’s okay to be not okay’ underneath black and white faces showing different moods as I felt this would fit in well in a publication or another art setting. It’s cool to think our work might be published somewhere, especially when it’s sharing such an important message. It’s nice to have been involved.”