It's been a busy week over here at Mind Map! We now have three wonderful venues in the heart of Nottingham City Centre who have pledged their support for making public spaces more accessible to people living with anxiety and panic. A huge welcome to Doughnotts, Rough Trade and Studio Chocolate!
As mentioned before, Mind Map is currently focusing on sharing how businesses are reopening, venue access details and contact information for any questions customers may have. The lockdown restrictions have not only limited what businesses can offer but have also caused anxiety amongst many people not sure about procedures, opening times and public facilities being available. Mind Map hopes to make it easier for businesses to share their information and for customers to find the details they require.
But why does a venue need to share its information or access details? Surely people can just look this up on the web?
Even before the pandemic arrived, accessing public spaces has not always easy for people living with anxiety. For some, including myself, there have been periods where going into a public space was something that had to be planned to the last detail.
- Where are the exit routes?
- Can I leave easily?
- What is the public transport like?
- Where are the toilets?
- Are there going to be lots of people?
- How long will the queues be?
- And many more questions....
Whilst for many, these may seem like things we should all already know and shouldn't have to worry about, for people with lived experience of anxiety and panic, this is a very different experience. That's why a visible commitment from organisations and venues is important, not to give people places to hide away, but to give people places to breathe, take a moment and bring themselves to a place where they feel calm enough to go back into the public space again.
This can be the difference between a person knowing that there are places all around them that can support them and a person feeling overwhelmed, going home and not venturing back into public spaces for a long time. Being part of Mind Map is not only about helping people feel better in a specific moment, but helping them to feel supported to return to public spaces again in the future.