"anyone can come to eat, laugh and heal here.”
A 21-year-old Canadian Indian graduate has launched a first-of-its-kind mental health café in the tri-city area of Punjab.
Angel D’Souza opened ‘Your Sugar Daddy’ café in the commercial city of Mohali on Wednesday, November 24, 2021.
She came up with the idea while graduating with a psychology degree from Canada’s University of British Columbia (UBC).
The young founder had been forced to graduate online as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Indian Express.
D’Souza explained: “I did not have much to do and everyone around me was equally clueless.
“Covid affected the physical as well as mental health problems of many.
“It was then that I thought of opening a café where I could make people smile a little brighter with the wholesomeness of food, games and activities.”
Funding for Your Sugar Daddy came from D’Souza herself as well as her parents.
The entrepreneur hopes to introduce mindfulness, music and art as therapies in the café to uplift the mood of customers.
There are also plans for ‘puppy therapy’ where groups of four or five will be allocated a timeslot to interact with the pooches.
She said: “People can come here, talk about their mental health issues and take part in the various therapies offered here.
“It is also a pet-friendly café, anyone can come to eat, laugh and heal here.”
The establishment will provide a mix of Indian, Italian and Mexican cuisine.
D’Souza hopes to also introduce a fusion between Italian and Korean food in the future as she said:
“I am a big fan of Korean food and TV series.”
She added: “We will have a different cuisine every day and while the food is getting ready, we will ask our guests for permission to play cognitive games with them.
“We will also nudge them to interact with other customers if they feel comfortable enough.”
Mental health cafés have become increasingly popular worldwide as a result of the pandemic, including in India.
One of the best known establishments is located in Chennai which provides employment to former patients of the Institute of Mental Health.
Angel D’Souza concluded: “If you are is struggling with mental health issues, please come here.
“The café will try to create a non-judgmental environment for people to meet and share their personal stories.”