We were delighted to celebrate the official reopening of Head Room, Jami’s mental health café in Golders Green, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony by the Mayor of Barnet.
The Worshipful the Mayor of the London Borough of Barnet, Councillor Alison Moore, said: “During a period in which we are trying to move towards mental health acceptance and moving away from stigmatising mental illness, Head Room café’s offering is happening at a really important time, when the community is really ready to listen.”
She described our social enterprise’s community programme of mental health support groups and activities as “fantastic” and explained that Jami’s café was doing “genuinely pioneering work” in taking mental health support to the high street, rather than delivering it in an institutional setting. “What you’re doing here is really special,” she said. “It’s a model that we ought to be sharing with other communities because I actually think there’s a real need for it. And it means you’ll make an even bigger difference in this community.” Commenting on the café’s recent expansion and renovation, the Mayor added: “It feels like a really welcoming place. Light but cosy. I don’t know how you managed that, but it works really well.”
Other guests included local Barnet councillors and representatives from the Jewish Leadership Council and Board of Deputies, as well as community members who attend Head Room’s free groups and activities, which take place from Monday through to Friday.
Louise Kermode, Jami’s director of services, told attendees: “In just five years, the number of events we run at Head Room has increased by 87 per cent and attendance has risen by 94 per cent. People can just walk in off the street to take part in our sessions. There’s no need for a referral or assessment that traditionally forms part of being able to access mental health support. The programme is open to everyone regardless of faith, ethnic background, gender, sexuality or abilities. And the good news is that now we have this wonderful expanded café, we can run even more groups, to benefit even more people.”
Laurie Rackind, chief executive of Jami, added: “When we embarked on our strategic review, we realised the café was a key part of what we should be delivering strategically. Therefore, we had a commitment to provide more of our services from accessible and non-institutionalised spaces – to deliver services on the high street in full glare of the community. And so, when we got the opportunity to expand Head Room, we decided to use this space to start exploring what a mutually supportive space on the high street could look like. Hopefully, we have maintained the café’s soul in a slightly more polished way.”
If you need support or are supporting someone who needs help, visit jamiuk.org/get-support/ or call
020 8458 2223.
If you are struggling to cope or need immediate help, contact Shout’s 24/7 crisis text service. Text Jami to 85258 for free, confidential support.
For free, safe and confidential online counselling and emotional wellbeing services for adults, contact Jami Qwell at www.qwell.io/jami