Comedian and campaigner Ruby Wax revealed she was opening a cafe for stressed out workers in Canary Wharf in January.
The 63-year-old announced the plans as she accepted an honorary doctorate of psychology from the University of East London at The O2.
She has spent the last seven years touring shows aimed at opening up the dialogue on mental heath issues. She will be back on the road in January with Frazzled and will also open a series of cafes of the same name to help people who feel overwhelmed by daily life.
Marks and Spencer in Jubilee Place has been chosen as one of the locations and will host regular sessions offering support for 15 people at a time. It will be free to attend and participant can remain anonymous.
Ruby said: “It’s like AA but for people who are frazzled, not mentally ill, but you know nobody can take it, the pressure.”
The American-born actress has spoken openly of her own struggle with depression. She said: “I really wish I’d had somewhere to go and talk to people, to see if I was alone and to bear it with me.”
She was speaking at the university’s graduation ceremony at Indigo At The O2 on Thursday, November 3.
She said the honour was “outrageous” as she was diagnosed with dyslexia and struggled at high school growing up in America, failing to graduate the first time round.
But she advised the audience of students to “embrace failure”.
“I said in my speech if you fail, that’s all life is, failure and then every time you succeed you have got more muscle.
“I find it difficult too but don’t think of failure as the end. Use it to keep going because everyone else will fall by the wayside that couldn’t take it.”
Ruby has gone on to receive a Masters Degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy at Oxford University and is writing another book.
Acting dean of psychology at UEL Dr Pippa Dell said: “Her resilience and persistence makes her a good role model for our students. She is very clear and open about her own suffering which is to be valued and she is interested in working with people in the community who are in distress and looking for models that aren’t always diagnostic.”
Ruby said life has changed a lot since she her first book and tour which looked at mental health- Sane New World
But, of course, she brought her trademark humour to her doctorate ceremony.
“When people have something on the place and they say ‘is there a doctor?’ I’m going to go forward and try and fake it,” she said.
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