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Saint-Josse offers relaxation rooms for cramped citizens

Illustration picture shows the Madou square 'Place Madou - Madouplein' in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode - Sint-Joost-ten-Node in Brussels region, Wednesday 26 August 2020. BELGA PHOTO THIERRY ROGE
09:58 03/12/2020

The municipality of Saint-Josse-ten-Noode is offering relaxation areas for residents living in cramped accommodation and suffering from the mental strain of the coronavirus crisis.

On request, and possibly in the presence of a social worker, residents of the commune can use the rooms to get some respite. This is one of several measures the municipality is taking to offer additional mental support to people during the pandemic.

Mayor Emir Kir, who continues to voice his opinion that the mental health aspect of the current crisis is being neglected, explained the need for relaxation rooms during the pandemic: "They act as an outlet,” he said. “They allow everyone to breathe, distance and limit negative feelings by changing environments, if necessary, with guidance. Making this service available to the population is fundamental as the houses in the commune are often cramped."

Residents who need a break from their own confinement can apply for a relaxation room through the Prevention Service. "On the basis of that application, our department then makes a proposal,” said Kir. “This could be a gym, for example, but it is not about one fixed space that is used every time. Everything will be decided case by case." Whether or not a social worker will be present also depends on the applicant’s needs.

In addition to these relaxation rooms, the commune also uses provides mental health support in other locations during the Covid crisis, including the Public Centre for Social Welfare (CPAS). The centre is covering the costs of counselling and treatment for people in psychological distress during the pandemic.

Written by Nick Amies