Mental Health Cafe
Virtual Mental Health Cafe
Tuesdays from 5:00 - 7:00pm EST Online
September Dates: Zoom Cafe (Audio/Video/Chat-Based, Tuesday the 14th, 28th) / Slack Cafe (Text-Based, Tuesday the 7th, 21st)
Fill out this online form for the meeting information.
Connection and Accessibility Info
Communication during Zoom Cafe can be in the form of audio/video, audio alone, and/or text chat, with the option for closed captioning turned on. Communication during Zoom Cafe is in real-time (someone shares, people respond immediately after). Slack Cafe is text-based in a forum-style format. Communication during Slack Cafe is asynchronous (someone posts their share, people respond as they are able).
What is Mental Health Cafe?
Mental Health Cafe is a monthly community conversation on radical mental health, focusing on informal discussions and friendly mutual aid in a welcoming space for all.
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? We meet every week via Zoom or Slack. During Zoom meetings, people usually arriving from 5:00 - 5:15pm - during these first 15 minutes, we play a collective Spotify playlist as people get settled. After welcoming everyone to the space and reviewing our community agreements, 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. The Slack group operates similarly, with asynchronous, text-based check-ins happening throughout our time together.
Important Notes: Mental Health Cafe is not meant to be a substitute for professional mental health treatment, and we do not have mental health professionals present in this capacity. Unlike some traditional mental health support groups, Mental Health Cafe does not enforce treatment compliance or adhere to purely medical model views. Our events are a welcoming space for all conceptualizations of mental health.
Mental Health Cafe is currently limited to people who are attending for their own support. Observers (media, students, providers, and anyone else wanting to come for any reason other than to explore their own experiences) are not able to attend at this time.
You can read our full Intentional Space Community Agreement here.