From feeling under pressure to careering out of control, studies reveal that we need to get in tune with our mental health. In the latest report from Mind, research shows that poor mental health in the workplace is increasingly costing UK employers, to the tune of more than £43bn in 2018. Eager to address this, the West Midlands’ leading mental health consortium, Living Well UK, is launching the nation’s first ever wellbeing pop-up shop in a bid to give people the help they need.

Opening its doors from 6 February to 4 March 2020, the Living Well UK pop-up space will offer a holistic approach to mental health; with both clinical therapies and wellbeing practices available. From morning mindfulness and creative therapies, through to lunchtime fitness and one-to-one talking sessions, every activity run by the pop-up space will be completely free to the public to make it as inclusive as possible. 

Offering respite for the overstretched NHS, Living Well UK’s services bring alternative therapies to the precipice. The pop-up shop will host sessions that hone in on the everyday needs of the city’s business district; helping people to implement preventative coping mechanisms and reactive strategies when times get tough. 

Designed to be a non-clinical environment, the pop-up shop will be located at the UK’s first social enterprise pub, The Good Intent, at the heart of Great Western Arcade. With its prominent spot in the city centre, the Living Well UK pop-up hopes to see as many faces as possible, removing the stigma around seeking help and treatment, and encouraging people to be open and empowered when it comes to changing their minds.

Ben Howells, the newly-appointed CEO of Living Well UK, is excited to be pioneering the concept in Birmingham, and hopes that the pop-up will inspire other cities to do the same. He commented:

The Living Well UK pop-up is the first of its kind in the country and we are proud to be bringing these services to the forefront of conversation. So often, we see first-hand that people only seek advice from their GPs for their mental wellbeing when they are already at breaking point. Sadly, in many cases, this is far too late. We need to break this cycle; through educating people about how to better look after their minds and equipping them with information about the services we offer, we know we can rapidly break down the barriers around people seeking help and eradicate the stigma surrounding it. 

“The shop has been designed so that you can schedule some me-time with one of the wellbeing sessions or pop in for a chat if you’re feeling under pressure. There’s no right or wrong time to visit, and certainly no “minimum” amount of stress to feel… we all need to get better at talking about how we feel, even if it seems like nothing. The Living Well UK pop-up is the first step for us and I, wholeheartedly, believe that this pop-up space will be life-changing… maybe even life-saving.

Open weekdays from 6 February to 4 March, every session will be completely free of charge. For more information on Living Well UK’s pop-up and the sessions that will be run, head to https://livingwellconsortium.com/.

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