New coffee house and bar in Leeds city centre to offer mental health support
Vicky Fytche is launching 'Better Days' in the Grand Arcade after witnessing a rise in the number of people suffering anxiety, stress and depression during the Covid pandemic.
Vicky is working with mental health help groups to offer support sessions for customers in an informal setting at the coffee house and bar.
"Our mission is to encourage people to talk about mental health and get the necessary support if needed," she said.
Vicky, 26, was a full time personal trainer who decided to change focus to look after people's psychological wellbeing.
She has studied for a diploma in mental health awareness and runs workshops and seminars for office workers, students and retired people.
The workshops help people deal with depression and manage anxiety and highlight the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions.
Vicky has worked as a freelance senior wellbeing coach For the past two years.
She said: "The demand for wellbeing workshops has increased during the pandemic.
"People have been anxious because we are generally unsure about what is going to happen moving forward.
"There has been a big rise in stress due to people maybe losing their jobs or being on furlough, which has resulted in financial difficulties.
"There are also problems with people isolating on their own and not having that social outlet to help manage their stresses."
Vicky, who hails from Grimsby, added: "During my first six months in Leeds I found myself struggling with anxious thoughts, something that was completely new to me and stopping me from doing a lot of general day to day tasks.
"I was 22, and at that time I was unsure how to address it.
"If I had a safe place like Better Days around then, I would have felt much more comfortable talking about it and wouldn’t have felt like it was such a taboo topic."
The YEP's #speakyourmind campaign was launched in 2016 to raise awareness of mental health issues and combat the stigma that sometimes exists.
Vicky hopes to open Better Days for take out drinks in Mid April and to be fully operational in May.
She said: "We’ll be focusing on physical wellbeing by virtually offering free lunch time physical activity sessions to help combat that afternoon lethargy.
"We want to ensure office workers and hospital workers can be active on their breaks."
Better Days can be found on Facebook and Instagram at @betterdays_coffeehouseandbar
Or go to www.betterdays.site