Mental Health Cafe is a monthly community conversation on mental health over coffee and treats. The event will focus on informal discussions and friendly mutual aid in a welcoming space for all. People are invited to participate actively or passively, or just listen.
What is mutual aid? Mutual aid is the voluntary, reciprocal exchange of resources, ideas, and support for the mutual benefit of all individuals involved, without power dynamics or labels (similar to a conversation with a friend). This is different than going to a therapy session, where a mental health professional provides one-way treatment to a client from a position of authority. Mutual aid is not meant to be a substitute for professional mental health treatment, and we do not have mental health professionals present in this capacity at our events.
So, what happens at a Mental Health Cafe? Mental Health Cafes take place in local coffee shops, libraries, or parks. When you enter the space, you will be greeted by a team member and offered a Color Communication Badge (a badge designed by the Autistic community that quickly and non-verbally displays communication preferences). We often provide free refreshments (coffee, tea, water / cookies, or other snacks), which will be available in the space as you arrive. After casual conversation for around 15 minutes, we will start to have an informal group conversation. Anyone in the group is welcome to do a "mental health check-in," discuss something important to them, ask for or share resources, vent, or ask for advice. Sometimes we have an activity planned, like a potluck, a film screening, or another social event (to be communicated ahead of time).
Important Notes: Mental Health Cafe is a space for peers and allies to have open conversations that represent a wide variety of opinions and beliefs, some of which everyone may not agree with. As a community, we expect everyone to hold respectful conversations. Anyone who attacks, harasses, or discriminates against another community member will be asked to leave and will be potentially banned from future events. As a space, we prioritize and center the voices of people with lived experience (of madness, trauma, mental illness, substance use / addiction, or another similar experience) and those from marginalized communities. Others are welcome to participate in our spaces, as long as they are respectful and follow our Radical Mental Health community guidelines.
July Mental Health Cafe
[Rescheduled Due to Rain]
Thursday, July 18th from 6:30 - 8:00pm at Arsenal Park (Link)
If you cannot find the group or are nervous/anxious upon arriving, please private message our Facebook page or send a message to the Inside Our Minds text line: (412) 438-3278.