A local pub chain has joined forces with a charity to launch free weekly coffee afternoons to help islanders with their mental health.
MIND Mondays will take place every Monday until the end of February from 15:00 to 18:00 in Liberation Group's pubs, where islanders will be able to meet new people as well as old friends and enjoy a free hot drink.
The initiative started on Monday 20 January - dubbed by many as ‘Blue Monday’ due to a combination of post-Christmas blues, cold dark nights and the arrival of unpaid credit card bills.
It is hoped the coffee afternoons will encourage islanders to go into pubs "to relax, meet new faces or old friends, and enjoy a free cup of tea or coffee".
In addition, the pub chain will be offering its employees the opportunity to complete a mental health awareness course. The course aims to enable participants to recognise fellow team members or customers who might be suffering with poor mental health so that they can offer support and put them in contact with MIND.
“Mental health issues are common and likely to affect one in four of us during our lifetimes," Jonathan Lawson, CEO of Liberation Group, said.
"The pub has long been somewhere where people can see a friendly face and have a chat so we wanted to encourage this even more by launching MIND Mondays to provide a safe haven for those who may need to chat or just be in the company of others.
“Recent studies have shown pubs can act as hubs for some lonely, isolated and vulnerable individuals and that this can make a real difference in their lives. At the same time, we have a responsibility to look after over 800 team members across our managed estate so it’s important that this new emphasis on mental health makes a real and genuine impact.”
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