Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dragon Café Southwark re-opens for 2014!

The latest creative endeavour by Mental Fight Club, the Dragon Café, has been warmly welcomed back this year with new funding from the Maudsley Charity.

Every Monday in Borough, Southwark, the crypt in St Giles the Martyr Church becomes a hive of activity – thanks to an innovative and inspiring programme of events that explore issues relating to mental health, recovery and well-being. It’s very exciting to see this creative hub back and as busy as ever, offering artistic and physical activities for all to drop in and experience for free.

Sometimes discussing our mental health can seem like a daunting task. We may feel disconnected from our peers or embarrassed to admit that we’re feeling overwhelmed. That’s why it’s so important that spaces such as the Dragon Café exist, in order to offer an impartial and comprehensive range of discussions and activities dedicated to promoting good mental well-being.

The Café gives people the chance to work through recovery while trying new experiences to see what works for them as an individual, but also invites a social atmosphere where the assumed or real stigma that often surrounds mental health is pushed aside by frank and open conversation.

Suffering in silence should never be an option: the Dragon Café embraces originality and inclusion.  Fixtures include art workshops, book swaps and, this month, a class in mindfulness training!

Mindfulness can provide assistance with feelings of anxiety or stress by teaching us to ground ourselves in the moment.

Physical activities include massage, dancing, Tai Chi and, from April, boxing classes. Massage in particular can help to re-establish the connection between mind and body.

There is even a selection of yummy vegetarian food on offer, from moussaka to soup – all at affordable prices!

You can check out the Café’s weekly programme of events here. In the meantime, here are our top three tips to promote good mental health and wellbeing:

1.    Talk to someone – whether it is a friend, family member or mental health professional, remember there is always someone there for you, and you are not on your own.

2.    Eat well – eating healthy and nutritious food is proven to have positive effects on our mental health. Engaging with our food and cooking at home is a task that enables us to focus, while cooking with others can be a social and enjoyable experience!

3.    Be active – this doesn’t necessarily mean physical exercise. Creative outlets like the ones provided by the Dragon Café can provide a new way to engage with your mental health and take control.

Congratulations to the Dragon Café on their re-opening! Find out more about the Dragon Café.

By Emma Jones

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