The Respite Room

Many years ago, I was involved with a fantastic organisation which I gave 2 years of my life to. I ate, slept, cried, shouted but mostly laughed through my involvement with and the number of life changing experiences I felt in those two years is impossible to quantify. Like everything, my relationship with Podcart came to an end (thank you entropy). Looking back I now recognise by the end of two years I was utterly exhausted; this was my first two years in recovery and I dedicated the time to Podcart at the expense of every relationship I had, but it was a marvellous time to be alive and I wouldn’t have changed it for anything. I am not sure what Ally, Iona and Sophie are up to these days, but Nicola went back to uni and changed career, and Louise hit the gym so much she now runs the gym! Clah and Weeze are getting married soon and I wish them well.

Podcart still exists thanks to the hard work and effort of the woman who started it. Halina Rifai is a force of nature, and I am amazed she still has the time and energy to do all the things she does, but recently she has joined forces with some friends and started a website aimed at discussing mental health. Their aims and objectives are below, taken directly from the home page:

“Welcome to The Respite Room. We are a collective on a mission to highlight mental health issues based on our own experiences with a want to help others. We have all experienced varying degrees and aspects of mental health issues and discovered a common bond with a want to express ourselves in our own way. 

The Respite Room is a safe space to discuss issues surrounding panic disorder, anxiety and depression. It will start as a site, podcast and blog. We don’t want it to be clinical or stuffy, but open, honest, vibrant, calming, approachable and helpful. 

We are not experts, we don’t have qualifications in the mental health field and we are not doctors. What we are is people that have experienced these things on mild to extreme levels. We have lived through these experiences and continue to battle with them. 

We hope you find some kind of solace in our space. 

Halina, Paula, Mel and Megan x”

As a mental health professional, and a passionate believer in the power of therapy, I support any place which will encourage healthy discussions around mental health and the quality of the posts on the website are excellent. Creating a space were people discuss the effects of their own material are invaluable resources for therapists and I believe I have already gained new insights from the blog posts.

As a person in recovery from substance use and the effects of anxiety and depression, I identify and empathise with the writing and appreciate the honesty and openness. I cannot recommend this site enough and I look forward to learning more as people continue to share their experiences.


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