Spain’s Crying Room seeks to ban mental health taboo



MADRID, October 17 (Reuters) – “Come in and cry,” a sign tells visitors. “Me too, I have anxiety”, lights up another notice in pink. There are phones in a corner with the names of people you can call when you’re feeling down, including a psychologist.

Welcome to La Lloreria, or the room of tears. Anyone can attend the project, located in a building in central Madrid, which aims to remove the stigma in society related to mental health, crying and seeking help.

“It’s really a great idea to visualize the mental health problem. It’s stigmatized to cry in Spain like in many other countries,” said Jon Nelssom, a Swedish student who lives in the Spanish capital.

A woman reads slogans in a crying space called “La Lloreria” to raise awareness for mental health in Madrid, Spain on October 17, 2021. REUTERS / Juan Medina

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A week ago, Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez separately announced a € 100 million ($ 116 million) mental health care campaign, which will include services such as a 24-hour suicide helpline. / 24.

“It’s not a taboo, it’s a public health issue that we need to talk about, make visible and act on it,” he said of mental illness when launching the plan on October 10, World Mental Health Day.

In 2019, 3,671 people died by suicide in Spain, the second leading cause of death after natural causes. One in 10 teenagers has been diagnosed with a mental health problem while 5.8% of the general population suffers from anxiety, according to government data.

($ 1 = € 0.8621)

Reporting by Michael Gore; Writing by Graham Keeley; Editing by Pravin Char

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