smiley balloon run over by a car

Mental health pitstop, burden or blessing?

Just like a barbershop, people can just pop in to talk about whatever is on their minds. Options include one-on-one therapy, couples therapy, student sessions and executive coaching. Or just a good conversation with a qualified person. The goal of the shop, called self space, is to remove any barriers that prevent people from seeking out help from a professional.

With more and more taboos around mental health disappearing, it is no surprise initiatives like this are popping up. Generation Z reports more mental health issues than previous generations, and they are more open about their mental health as well. So solutions like this on-demand mental health shop sound like a great match. You could however also wonder if such a walk-in service does not only further pervade the idea that we should just be happy all the time. That when we are feeling down, it is just something we can get ‘fixed’, often even on the same day. 

It is exactly this expectation that we should be happy all the time that tends to manifest itself in poor mental well-being among people, even more so in countries with a higher World Happiness Index. Everyone feels a little down from time to time, this is normal. Yet, when you perceive it as the norm that you should be happy all the time, even experiencing a small dip can instil in you the feeling that you are not normal. That there is something wrong with you, or that you are missing out and falling behind on precious ‘happy’ lifetime, that everyone else seems to be enjoying. 

Is this a healthy and much-needed service with a low threshold, or does it (unintentionally) mask a broader problem of our expectations of happiness in society? What do you think? 

Image credits: Nathan Dumlao