'Mental Health Pop Up' Lets People Try Going to Therapy
Committing to therapy, especially if you’ve never seen a therapist before, can be difficult. To help reduce stigma and make therapy more accessible, Alexandra Meyer started “Mental Health Pop Up,” a traveling mental health workshop that allows people to try out therapy in a safe and quiet space.
“One in five people in the U.S. suffer from a mental health issue, yet resources are incredibly hard to access, and taking care and talking about one’s emotions and mental health has a high degree of stigma and taboo,” Meyer said of her desire to start the pop up. “Society tells us to toughen up and keep it inside. This leads to a high degree of unhappiness, anxiety, depression, and in the most dire of cases, suicide.”
Each event is open to anyone interested in better understanding themselves and their mental health. The first pop up, held in San Francisco, sold out with 40 participants and seven therapists attending. So far, Meyer said most of the event’s attendees have been young working professionals looking for help managing stress and anxiety.
Beyond getting a taste of what therapy is like, those attending can also attend a workshop on managing emotional stress, relax in the pop up’s dedicated quiet space or participate in art therapy. Plus, there is unlimited tea for anyone who wants to unwind with a cup or two.
“[The pop up] is personally important to me as I struggled to find a therapist while going through some emotionally challenging times earlier this year. I wondered why isn’t there just a walk-in clinic I can go to talk to someone when I’m feeling down?” Meyer told The Mighty. “The other driver for me is that my aunt unexpectedly [died by] suicide at the age of 27 years old. I can’t help but wonder if mental healthcare was more accessible and talked about, if her suicide and the suicide of millions of others could have been prevented.”
Meyer’s next pop up will be held on June 21 in New York City. Tickets to the event are $35 and entitle participants to attend workshops as well as a private 30-minute session with a psychologist. Each participating therapist is accepting new clients, so if you like your therapist, you have the option to follow up and make an appointment. If not, there is no pressure to continue therapy.
After New York, the pop up will travel to Toronto for its next event on June 28. Beyond June, Meyer hopes to bring her pop up to other cities across the country as well as eventually opening up a walk-in mental health clinic.