MADRID, October 17 (Reuters) – “Come in and cry”, one sign tells visitors. “I have anxiety too,” shines another pink message. There are one-cornered phones with names of people you can call when you are feeling unwell, including a psychologist.
Welcome to La Lorria, or the Weeping Room. Anyone can enter the project, housed in a building in central Madrid, which aims to remove the stigma in society attached to mental health, cry and ask for help.
“It’s a really great idea to imagine the issue of mental health. There is a stigma to crying in Spain as in many other countries,” said John Nelsom, a Swedish student living in the Spanish capital.
One week ago, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez separately announced a € 100 million effort ($ 116 million) for mental health, which would include services such as a 24-hour suicide assistance line.
“It’s not a taboo, it’s a public health issue that we need to talk about, show postcards and act on,” he said of mental illness when he launched the program on October 10, World Mental Health Day.
In 2019, 3,671 people died from suicide in Spain, the second most common cause of death after natural causes. One in ten adolescents has been diagnosed with mental health while 5.8% of the population suffers from anxiety, according to government data.
($ 1 = 0.8621 euros)
Report by Michael Gore; Writing by Graham Kylie; Edited by Pravin Char
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