Frazzled Cafes will offer judgement-free spaces for people to share their mental health concerns

One in four Britons will suffer from a mental illness at some point over the course of their lives and even more will feel overwhelmed by the stresses of modern life. Marks & Spencer joined by Ruby Wax, comedian and leading mental health activist, have launched a series of ‘talk-in’ sessions where people who feel ‘frazzled' can meet and share their experiences in a safe, anonymous and non-judgmental environment. Hosted after hours in M&S Cafés and led by trained volunteer facilitators. Frazzled Cafes will meet twice a month in 11  locations around the UK, with more to follow in the next few months.

“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. Feeling heard, to me, has always been half the cure,” Ruby Wax said during the project’s launch at the London Book Fair.

The idea comes from Wax’s Sane New World Tour, during which she would open the floor to the audience members, asking if they wanted to share their stories. This experience made her realize that one of the key factors in helping people with mental health concerns is to make them understand that they are not alone. Having identified the need for a space where anyone can feel heard, Wax partnered with Marks & Spencer and trailed the concept at the company’s offices and stores last year.

“Ruby’s Frazzled Cafe is a simple, pressure-free way of tackling what can be a taboo subject—feeling stressed. We hope that by providing free and calm venues after the café has closed, we can help any members of the community who simply need to talk about things and what’s happening in their lives,” added Sacha Berendji, Retail Director at Marks & Spencer.

Frazzled Cafe

One in four Britons will suffer from a mental illness at some point over the course of their lives and even more will feel overwhelmed by the stresses of modern life. Marks & Spencer joined by Ruby Wax, comedian and leading mental health activist, have launched a series of ‘talk-in’ sessions where people who feel ‘frazzled' can meet and share their experiences in a safe, anonymous and non-judgmental environment. Hosted after hours in M&S Cafés and led by trained volunteer facilitators. Frazzled Cafes will meet twice a month in 11  locations around the UK, with more to follow in the next few months.