Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the US experience some form of mental illness during any given year.  Because of this, there has been a lot of work done to destigamize mental health, but it still hasn't reached the point where it permeates every day conversation.

Whether it be between friends, colleagues, or professors, even if someone manages to overcome this boundary and share their issues, sometimes they're not taken seriously enough. However, comedian Ruby Wax is working to change that. She's attempting to spread the message that it's "ok to not be ok."

In order to encourage people to speak up about their stress, Wax has partnered with British retailer Marks and Spencer to open Frazzled Cafe. The cafe is meant to be a nonjudgemental  environment for people to meet and share personal stories. 

The Concept 

beer, tea, wine, coffee
Zhihan Ye

Ruby Wax got the idea for Frazzled Cafe while on tour for her comedy routine. During the second half of the show, she would ask people if they wanted to speak, and they always did. She realized that people needed a space to share their stories and stresses, and so, the idea for the cafe was born.

There are a couple of cafes around the UK, but the concept is being talked about all over the Internet. Meetings at these cafes occur every two weeks and anyone who is feeling frazzled is encouraged to come. 

coffee, cappuccino, espresso, milk, mocha, cream
Ruby Siegel

The meetings occur in the mega-popular M&S cafes, so there's plenty of food, which is arguably the most important part to creating a comfortable environment. M&S announced the new cafes with a press statement stating, "There is a pressing need for both identifying ways to help people cope with overwhelming stress and reducing the stigma that is attached to discussing mental health." Wax is hoping to help solve this issue. She believes that feeling both heard and validated is half the cure.

The cafe is encouraging mental health to be included in daily conversation. Hopefully, the concept will spread from the UK to other places. More importantly, the message Frazzled Cafe is spreading is truly needed, especially on college campuses. With everyone constantly on the go, it's important to take time to relax, and there's no better way to do that than by talking over coffee.