Therapists now offering ‘safe space’ tents at parties

Therapists offering ‘safe space’ dome tents at festivals as refuge for overwhelmed party-goers

The novel concept, which has been called ‘Chat Bar’, is the brainchild of Willingness Malta
The novel concept, which has been called ‘Chat Bar’, is the brainchild of Willingness Malta

Festival and party organisers will now be able to commission a team of professional therapists to set up tents to serve as ‘safe spaces’ for overwhelmed party-goers. 

The novel concept, which has been called ‘Chat Bar’, is the brainchild of Willingness Malta – a multi-disciplinary team of therapists spearheaded by sexologist Matthew Bartolo.

On its website, it says that it is offering air-conditioned dome tents to serve as ‘safe spaces’ within parties for people who “feel overwhelmed due to the mixture of intoxication, mental health issues or relational issues, exhaustion and the festival atmosphere”. 

“Our fun and professional staff can greet the festival goer with a cup of tea and a chat in order to offer containment and help with whatever they might be going through at that point in time,” Willingness said. “Sometimes we get bad thoughts in the places where we should be having most fun. In this case, tell your mates to get you to Chat Bar. Do not let your thoughts get too intense before you tell them. Thoughts and emotions do not just happen. Like an elevator, they go up from 1 to 10 slowly, or sometimes rapidly.

“Speak up when the thought or emotion is still controllable. That way, you have ample time to get to us at Chat Bar.”

Willingness has also published a “survival guide” for festivals – encouraging party-goers to bring protective clothing, comfy footwear, a power bank and any prescribed drugs along with them, to agree on a meeting place with their friends in case they get lost, and to pace themselves if taking drugs.

“Start low and take it slow – Be careful. Take it easy. The effects of substances can be altered by the festival atmosphere and even people who’ve tried them before can have a different experience,” it said. “Small amounts. You can always add to the effect but you can’t take it away. If you feel anxious or vulnerable then seek help. Our Chat Bar crew are trained in this.

“Tell your mates what you’re on. We know drugs are illegal… but tell them if you’re taking anything.” 

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