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Mental illness poster, London, England, 1978-1981

The East London Health project used this poster to highlight the dangers of mental illness among poorer members of society. It states: ‘Mental illness is class conscious’. This means it is likelier to affect those on lower incomes from deprived areas. The project was initiated by the East London Trades Councils. It wanted to inform the local population about financial cuts being made to the National Health Service. It also wanted to show how cuts would affect mental health care provision in their area. The poster shows a woman smoking a cigarette. Part of her face is blocked out. It was one of eight designed by artists Peter Dunn and Loraine Leeson. The poster campaign was widely distributed. It also exhibited in ‘Issue - Social Strategies by Women Artists’ in 1980 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London.

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Glossary: poster

Notice, usually printed on paper, intended to be posted to advertise, promote, or publicise an activity, cause, product, or service; also, decorative, mass-produced prints intended for hanging.

Glossary: Mental health and illness

Mental health is the term used to describe a level of emotional wellbeing, or the absence of a mental disorder. The World Health Organisation describes mental health as "A state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community."