Understanding Mental Health One Hug At A Time

, , , , , | Hopeless | March 29, 2016

(I have just started a short practicum at a mental health centre, with mental health care included. I decide to swing by the cafe in the centre to grab something before work. It’s very early, so the two baristas are still finishing opening procedures and the only other customer is a nurse who walks in ahead of me.)

Barista #1: *to the nurse* “Good morning! What can I get for you today?”

Nurse: *gives her order*

(As the first barista gets started on the nurse’s coffee, a woman comes out of one of the offices down the hall. It’s clear she’s not staff and she looks very worried. She walks right up to the counter beside where the nurse is paying.)

Woman: “I need a hug.”

Barista #1: “You need a hug? [Barista #2]!”

Barista #2: “Oh, hi, [Woman]. Hug?”

Woman: “Yep. Really bad.”

(Barista #2 hurries around the end of the bar and gives the woman a big hug.)

Woman: “I have to go to the hospital for a meeting today.”

Barista #1: “Oh, that is big. I’ll be right out!” *hands the nurse her coffee* “There you go; have a good day!” *to me* “Just one second!” *to Barista #2* “Can you come help this lady so I can give [Woman] a hug?”

(I’ve had my own issues with mental health, but if this is the way society’s going, my faith in humanity is fully restored.)

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