People can love to have a chat over a cup of tea or coffee so cafes are great places to start conversations about mental health.
The most important thing is to develop a relationship with a local cafe who would be happy to get involved. It is important to respect that they are running a business. However, there are benefits to being associated with a campaign promoting openness about mental health, and it might be worth highlighting that to them.
Planning and preparing your event
Where will you do it?
In a café! If you do not have a particular venue in mind, you might consider writing to or emailing local cafés, outlining the campaign and asking if they would be interested in supporting an event. You could start by asking to speak to the manager or owner.
Promoting your activity
We need to reach out to people who aren't already interested in mental health so it's best not to advertise. A public space like a café is a really good place to connect with people who are not already aware of the campaign.
Materials you may need
There are very few materials required for this activity, but if the café you work with agrees,having a top tips card and a conversation starter on each table would be great. Then, if you see anyone looking at them, it provides a good opportunity to politely approach to let them know why you’re there and invite them over for a chat. You can download materials here.
On the day
You and any other Champions will have a table within the café. You will be using your personal experience to talk to customers about mental health, being respectful of people's choice to get involved. If you notice that they have to wait for a few minutes for their drink or food, that’s a good time to ask if they have a couple of minutes for a chat.
If you have a time slot agreed with the owners, arrive at least fifteen minutes earlier, set out any event materials and settle in with a drink. Try to talk to as many people as you can.
It might be good to check with staff from time to time that everything is OK, and during their quiet times, talk to them too about why you’re involved with Time to Change.