Ruby Wax will open her Frazzled Cafe for stressed out Canary Wharf workers in April.
The comedian and leading mental health campaigner has joined forces with Marks & Spencer for the campaign to help people overwhelmed by modern life.
Its Jubilee Place store has been chosen as one of three London locations for the cafes, with eight more spread across the country.
Those in need of help will be able to sign up for fortnightly "talk-in" sessions where they can share their personal stories in an anonymous environment.
The sessions will be free and open to up to 15 people at a time.
Ruby said: “We live in a time where to have a life crammed to the hilt is considered a success story.
“But with all this pressure, so many of us have nowhere to go to meet and talk about it. Frazzled Cafe is about people coming together to share their stories, calmly sitting together, stating their case and feeling validated as a result. Feeling heard, to me, has always been half the cure.
“It’s special to get a company like M&S on board. I’m grateful for the set-up support they’ve given us and access to their café network is a huge boost.”
The meetings will not offer therapy said Ruby, but rather a space where people can talk openly with others who understand how they are feeling – "a place where it’s OK, to not be OK".
The American-born actress has spoken openly of her own struggle with depression and said she wished there had been somewhere like this for her to go and talk to people.
Her plans for the Canary Wharf cafe were first revealed when she accepted an honorary doctorate of psychology from the University of East London in November.
The idea was successfully trialled in M&S offices and stores last year as part of its Plan A eco and ethical initiative.
Ruby, who has a Masters Degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy from Oxford University, officially launched the cafes on Tuesday, March 14, at London Book Fair.
Taking place in M&S Cafés after hours and will be led by trained volunteers.
According to NHS figures, the economic cost of mental health problems in the UK is estimated at £105billion per year- equal to the entire National Health budget.
And the UK is rated the seventh highest nation in the Western world for prescribing antidepressants at four million prescriptions annually.
The idea for the cafes was sparked by Ruby’s interaction with thousands of people during her book tours and theatre shows for A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled and Sane New World over the past five years.
Retail director at Marks & Spencer Sacha Berendji said: “We hope that by providing free and calm venues after the café has closed, we can help any members of the community who simply need to talk about things and what’s happening in their lives.”
For more information about when the cafes will launch or to register to attend a Frazzled Cafe visit frazzledcafe.org
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