Tag Archives: The Guardian

Friday Bench: Therapy on a bench

See the video mentioned via this link.  It’s well worth your time as the story is both heart warming and thought-provoking. As The Guardian says on its website:

“One in four people in Zimbabwe experiences mental health problems but there are only 13 psychiatrists in the country. To help plug the gap, Dixon Chibanda has developed a scheme to train an army of grandmothers, who offer a listening ear on park benches. The scheme challenges the stigma surrounding mental health and provides the women with company.”

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Friday Bench: BS2 8QD

There’s been much written in the press over the years about the ‘postcode lottery’ for various treatments on the NHS, but I never imagined a bench would feature in a health related story.

You need a postcode to register with a doctor, so how can that be achieved if you’re of no fixed abode?

A practice in the centre of Bristol found a workaround by using the postcode of a nearby park bench in Portland Square to provide the address for the homeless who registered with them.

It’s a neat way of ensuring  ‘the system’ is satisfied, so the health workers can get on with the business of providing any care needed.

It’s a while since this story was reported in The Guardian, and so it may no longer apply, but it was still worth a diversion to Portland Square when I was in Bristol late last year. The Square in question has many park benches around its sides, so I can’t say whether this is the actual bench with the postcode. Perhaps they all do?