Patricia’s Coffee Bar in Glasgow’s south side is running mental health cafes open to all during the pandemic.
The Govanhill favourite has been able to open on Monday evenings from 6-9pm as they fall under essential voluntary services, providing what has been described as ‘lifeline’ support to people in the local areas.
The service, which is run alongside the You Are My Sunshine mental health charity based in Newharthill, allows people to engage with their mental health using mindfulness materials and discussions.
Stephanie Docherty, one of the organisers behind the mental health cafes, runs the cafe with her four siblings after they lost their mother to suicide in 2015.
Stephanie told Glasgow Live: “This is the main reason we decided to both open a cafe in her name, and spend some of our time and energy into providing a safe space for people to come and be open about their mental health.
“We felt as though, and much as the NHS is incredible in what they do; the funding is just not there to be able to provide the level of support that everyone needs…a community based approach for mental health is what we believe in.”
Stephanie says the main aim is for people just to come along and try to “release the burden of mental health by chatting to people who may also be struggling but not necessarily by chatting about mental health”.
She added: “We have mindfulness books and adult colouring books which are actually very therapeutic and we provide tea, coffee, and every biscuit under the sun!”
“We discuss different topics every week, and this is lead by Ozzy our well-being coach, and also David who is a volunteer from Yams.
“After Covid we hope to be able to run themes every week like latte art, cooking, baking, etc. There are so many amazing charities out there dedicated to mental health, and we are very lucky to be supported by one in Yams.
“We would urge anyone who is struggling, especially in these times with lockdown, to just reach out, come along one Monday and check us out.”
The cafe is informal, however Stephanie says counselling sessions can be arranged via zoom with YAMS for those who may need it.
She said: “We don’t carry out counselling sessions or anything within the chat cafe but this is something that we have been able to arrange through Yams via zoom if anyone needs it.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, find support with SAMH here (www.samh.org.uk) or contact Samaritans free anytime, 24/7, on 116 123