Overheard in a psychiatric hospital; “I want to tell you guys something.
“People might forget what you said.
People might forget what you did, BUT
People never forget how you made them feel.”
This does not sound like an ill person, does it?
The information that I have chosen to write about tonight, was taken from the Online version of Ynet.
Y, aged 44, has suffered from depression for many years, but a coffee shop that opened near his home on Kibbutz Misgav Am, has made life a bit more joyful for him.
“I lived in the kibbutz’s bubble, alone for most of the day, which made things worse,” he told the Yedioth Ahronoth daily. “I read some books and learned that in order to break out from the coils of epression, I would have to open up to new worlds.”
Salvation arrived two years ago, when two students from the department of social work at the Tel Hai COllege, in cooperation with the Israel Association for Mental Health, opened a special coffee shop on campus. Cafe Motek caters to the mentally disabled and to coffee lovers in general. “When the place is packed, you can’t tell the differene between the mentally disabled people who hang out there, and the students,” says Gilad Levi who runs the coffee shop on behalf of the Israel Mental Health Association. “The coffee shop brings people together withot labeling anyone. Stigmas are left outside the door,” he says.
As for Y, he couldn’t be happier. “This place has changed my life,” he says. “It will boost my self-esteem and confidence.” Y voluneers at the coffee shop.
I not only want to share this article with you; if there is anyone out there who would like to write about a positive aspect of disability of any kind, please contact me and I will blog it. And, if there is anyone who has had a negative experience re disabilities, please contact me too, as I am trying to get the word out re blame, shame and stigma and the more people who read about it, the more likely we are to have an impact on the public’s attitudes to this sensitive subject.
If there is anyone out there who would like to provide the finances to open a coffee shop of this kind in Ra’anana or Kfar Sava, do let me know. I would do it under the auspices of ENOSH, the Israel Mental Health Association.
I wonder whether anyone who is reading this realizes quite how cut off , lonely and desperate a ‘consumer’feels. ( in English we say ‘consumer’ and a ‘mitmoded,’ in Hebrew. Instead of saying a mentally ill person, we use the term ‘consumer.’) My son was lonely. Yes, we gave him ongoing support for 16 years, but he needed people of his own age to socialize with and not ‘old people’ as he described us. The only place he found them was at the ENOSH social clubs but the stigma bothered him.
“Are sick people the only ones who want to spend time with me?” he asked frequently. He was desperate for companionship and a cafe like the one I have described from the Ynet article, would have suited him so well.
Thank you so much, Y. for sharing this with us. Be well.