Open Café – Mental Health

“Mental health is just important as physical health.”
This quote found on the Internet, inspired the volunteers for the topic of the second Open Café of autumn 2020.
On October 21st in spite of the hard times that the world is going through, we still managed to host and bring to the people of Rzeszow, Open Café, a safe space in which they can share their opinions on hot social topics, and this time, we made it ONLINE!
The topic of this Open Café was “Salute Mentale”, that in Italian means “mental health”. This topic was chosen because now, because of the pandemic, a lot of people are suffering from mental health conditions and is a subject that is not really talked about that much. The whole event was hosted on the Zoom platform.
Ans and Andrea, our beloved volunteers, respectively from Pakistan and Italy, greeted the audience, introduced themselves and highlighted the good manners to have during Open Café such as respecting each others opinion, not interrupt other people while they are speaking and most important thing of all…try to enjoy and have fun!
A funny and engaging ice breaker helped the participant feel more at ease. They then learned about some interesting data and facts about mental health around the world. For instance, did you know that according to data from the IHME(Institute for Health Metrics Evaluation) about 13% of the global population suffers from some kind of mental disorder?
In the middle of the event, after a five minutes break, both partecipants and hosts needed a little bit of an energizer; they opted for eyeball yoga that really helped regain some focus.
For the final activity of the event, Andrea and Ans dediced to lean on a group discussion, aimed at letting the partecipants discuss and share their opinion on the topic. They divided the partecipants in Zoom rooms and they let the guests discuss, for about 20 minutes, the following questions:
✔️ Why you should not be ashamed if you suffer from mental health conditions?
✔️ How can we help people who is suffering from mental illnesses?
✔️ How do you think that this pandemic is affecting our mental health?
✔️ Have you ever experienced some form of mental illness(es)? Share your story with the other
partecipants if you’d like.
At the end of the 20 minutes, one person for each group had the chance to share the outcomes of the discussion they had with the other partecipants. At the end, the two hosts thanked the partecipants for joining the event and invited them to connect on the next Wednesday, at the same hour, for the next Open Café.