Mental health. It can be uncomfortable to talk about, but with so many people suffering in silence – particularly as a result of the pandemic, a lot of initiatives, businesses and people want to break the stigma surrounding it. One of these businesses is Patricia’s Coffee Bar in Govanhill.
The coffee shop in Glasgow’s southside is not only worth a visit to get your caffeine fix but also to help get a few things off our chest. Patricia’s Coffee Bar began running mental health cafes, also known as chat cafes, back in September 2020 and has continued to do so during and after the pandemic.
The coffee bar on Victoria Road has been able to open on Monday evenings from 6pm til 9pm as they fall under essential voluntary services, providing what has been described as ‘lifeline’ support to people in the local areas. The service, which is run alongside the You Are My Sunshine (YAMS) mental health charity, allows people to engage with their mental health using mindfulness materials and discussions.
Stephanie Docherty, one of the organisers behind the mental health cafes, runs Patricia’s Coffee Bar with her four siblings after they lost their mother to suicide in 2015. The organisers wanted to create a no pressure environment for people to come along, access any help or advice around mental health, and offer the opportunity to chat with their wellbeing coach, Ozzy.
Each week the mental health cafe discusses different topics over coffee, tea and biscuits with Ozzy and YAMS volunteer, David, and there is no pressure to participate. Patricia’s Coffee Bar is an informal setting and doesn’t carry out counselling sessions, but this is can be arranged through YAMS should anyone need it.
Based in Newharthill, YAMS came about following the death of the charity founder’s sister, Gemma Jones, who regularly struggled to find the correct support for her ongoing problems. The charity provides a range of services from guidance to signposting individuals, family members, and friends to appropriate services and other charities, along with self-help materials and recovery-focused resources required for their needs.
In addition, YAMS also offers 1:1 counselling and alternative therapies in-house. They can also offer support on a wider range of practical issues such as help with completing forms; benefit checks; employability issues, or just everyday stressors.
As well as working alongside Patricia’s Coffee Bar to run their chat cafe, YAMS also offers regular sessions to get involved in with activities such as Crafts & Chat, Bake & Banter and Knit & Natter. The charity also runs Willpower, a men-only fitness and wellbeing club, and a men’s support group.
Patricia’s Coffee Bar is also open for indoor dining and serves up some delicious brunch dishes. Their menu features brioche buns filled with the likes of creamy scrambled eggs with bacon, salmon or crispy kale and caramelised onions, as well as buckwheat crêpes and dishes served with fresh sourdough toast.
Patricia’s Coffee Bar, 350 Victoria Road, G42 7RP