The London skyline will be lit up by a gigantic interactive, nine-metre high ‘Head Above Water' for the next week, to support Time To Change's ongoing work to break down mental health stigma.

The design is described as a "symbol to challenge attitudes and stimulate perception and understanding around mental health."

Head Above Water is an interactive sculpture on London's South Bank, with panoramic views of St Paul's Cathedral and the iconic city skyline.

Gender, ethnicity and age neutral, the sculpture stands as a symbol of hope, bravery, compassion, positivity and change, for those who have come through or are still confronting mental health issues, and the people who support them.

Stimulate change

Time to Change believes the dynamic platform will help challenge negative attitudes and stimulate discussion around mental health.

Head Above Water will be lit at night and people will be able to engage with its changing colours to reflect how they are feeling through a designated Twitter feed: #HeadAboveWaterLondon.

Dr Sally Marlow of The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (loPPN) at King's College London has advised on the changing colours to reflect different narratives and concepts used to describe emotions.

Consulting engineers Hoare Lea are the specialists behind the lighting scheme.

"Head Above Water is a symbol of hope," said the British designer, Stuart Padwick. 

"It needed to be big, powerful and prominent… a beacon of humanity caring for others."

"This is not my head or about my battles. This is for those who have or have had mental health issues."

"I want anybody and everybody to relate to it; to open a door, perhaps."

Jo Loughran, Director of Time to Change, said: "Located on the bustling South Bank, Head Above Water will be seen by millions, prompting contemplation and encouraging conversations about mental health."

"Sadly mental health problems are often confined to hushed conversations in quiet corners, so we're excited to support this project which proudly brings it into the light."

The sculpture will be visible throughout London Design Week, which runs until September 23.