‘Comfort Zones’ have been set up in Well Pharmacies across the UK so that people feeling overwhelmed by the return to ‘normality’ and social contact next week can seek help.
As part of its new initiative, the multiple will be offering their private consultation rooms across 750 of their pharmacies as dedicated spaces for patients suffering from anxiety to get away from crowds, contact a support service, or talk to a friend or family member.
This comes as the Government announced earlier this week Monday (12 July) that all restrictions, including social distancing, will be lifted on 19 July.
The national multiple’s initiative comes in response to a recent study which revealed that one in five people are concerned about Freedom Day, having spent a year and a half under various Covid restrictions.
The study, which was conducted by a market research agency, found that 40% of people will only be confident about socialising once the vaccine programme is fully rolled out across the UK.
Louis Purchase, operations director at Well Pharmacy, said: ‘Whilst the easing of lockdown restrictions have been a welcome return to normality for many, we can’t forget the people who are feeling anxious at the thought of socialising again.
‘Social distancing has become the norm over the last year and it is totally understandable that some people would feel anxious at the thought of being in crowded places again.
‘For people who suffer from social anxiety, the idea of being away from the comfort zone of their own home can be daunting.
‘We hope that those affected will feel more confident leaving their homes, in the knowledge that there are Comfort Zones located across so many high streets across the UK,’ he added.
Former England football captain and mental health advocate, Terry Butcher, also supports the initiative.
‘In the past I have suffered from anxiety in some social situations, and I know how helpful it can be to just take some time out in a comfortable, safe space. A bit of quiet time and maybe a friendly chat can make all the difference,’ he said.
‘So, I’m very keen to help Well Pharmacy support all those people out there who might be suffering at the change in their lives after so long in the coronavirus wilderness. We know from this study there could be millions of them.’
During the pandemic, many pharmacies across the UK set up safe spaces in their consultation rooms, so that victims of domestic abuse can seek help during the Covid-19 lockdown.