We truly love the incredibly progressive stance many in England are taking toward reducing stigma against mental illness. We’re so thrilled a country could take such a positive stand on mental health, and they’ve just taken it a step further with a place you can go when you’re entirely too stressed, a comfortable spot to just “let it out,” so to speak: the Frazzled Cafe.
Created by comedian and mental health advocate Ruby Wax, the drop-in sessions are hosted by trained volunteers in closed cafes inside Marks & Spencer locations where stressed-out shoppers can come in, unload and unwind. Held across the UK, 11 stores are taking part in the efforts, which are not described as therapy but space “where people can talk openly with others who understand how they are feeling,” according to a recent article in Guardian UK.
Wax is quoted in the article, expressing the importance of providing such services in today’s incredibly-busy, stressed-out world: “We live in a time where to have a life crammed to the hilt is considered a success story…But with all this pressure, so many of us have nowhere to go to meet and talk about it. Frazzled Cafe is about people coming together to share their stories, calmly sitting together, stating their case and feeling validated as a result.”
According to the same piece, the economic cost of mental health-related issues represents 105 billion sterling, with about 4 million antidepressants prescriptions written annually in the UK market. It’s not just impacting the production of the company, it’s a great concern for society at large.
We applaud these efforts and hope more countries will take a positive stand on mental health assistance and stigma reduction. One day, perhaps these efforts will be quite commonplace. We look forward to that day with hope and grace.