Hiding under the duvet, playing computer games 24/7, reaching for the bottle… there are many different ways people self-medicate when it comes to mental health.
Though according to US comedian Ruby Wax, half the battle is “being heard”.
And with a little listening from a non-judgemental ear, the mountain to wellbeing becomes an easier one to climb.
In order to help connect those struggling, Ruby created her Frazzled Café in a bid to bring people together for a chat over a cuppa to talk things through.
However, with lockdown in place, Ruby’s sanctuary – located in various branches of Marks and Spencer locations around the UK – was forced to close its doors.
But where one door closes, another opens.
And Frazzled Café Online was launched.
Now, the virtual space encourages people who are feeling depressed or anxious to share their experiences with others in a safe place where it’s okay to not be okay.
Speaking about her venture, Ruby said: “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 Café is about people coming together to share their stories, calmly sitting together, stating their case and feeling validated as a result.
“Feeling heard, to me, has always been half the cure.”
The meetings, hosted on Zoom, kickstart with a mindfulness meditation from Ruby before people are invited to share stories.
The sessions, which include up to 50 participants, are open to all ages and genders. While there are also opportunities for discussions in smaller groups.
The initiative claims it is not there to offer solutions or take the place of therapy, but to provide a confidential space for people to chat openly about what it’s like to be ‘frazzled’.
Ruby has been very open about her own struggles with depression, championing for increased awareness.
In 2017, she took part in BBC show Who Do You Think You Are? – discovering that her great-grandmother and great-aunt had been committed to mental asylums.
Following a successful career in comedy, she has since completed a Master’s degree in cognitive therapy at Oxford University and written several self-help books.
For more info, visit: Frazzled Café.