St. Enoch Centre in Glasgow has launched a ‘No Phone Zone’ where people will be able to truly relax and ‘switch off’ in the city centre.

The new designated area where phones and other devices will be denied, has been created to enable and encourage people to put their tech down and enjoy real time with real people.

St. Enoch Centre’s ‘No Phone Zone’ has been created in response to various studies which suggest a negative impact on our mental health and wellbeing through excessive mobile phone and social media use. Issues attributed to mobile devices and online platforms include the inability to switch off and enjoy proper rest, insomnia, depression and anxiety, all of which are on the increase, particularly in young people.

Device users of all ages are encouraged to give the new ‘No Phone Zone’ a try and put down their screens, so they can truly be present and enjoy time with family and friends, or simply relax and relish some ‘me time’.

The ‘No Phone Zone’ will be located in a designated area on the mezzanine within The Atrium Food Court and will initially run for a trial period.

Anne Ledgerwood, general manager of St. Enoch Centre, said: “There is increasing awareness about the risks of excessive use of mobile phones and social media to our mental health. The increase in anxiety issues and insomnia have been attributed to the rise in mobile phone use and we want to support a behaviour change.

“It is now a common sight to see groups of people sitting together, all looking at their screens rather than engaging with each other and we want to encourage people to switch off their phone and instead to enjoy time together over a bite to eat with a real conversation.

“Equally, it is well documented that people benefit from ‘me time’ whether relaxing over a coffee or reading and so we wanted to provide a space where ‘switching off’ is actively encouraged and ‘real’ experiences can be enjoyed.”

St. Enoch Centre’s ‘No Phone Zone’ has been supported by leading Scottish Mental Health charity, See Me. Interim director, Wendy Halliday, said: “Around one in three people in Scotland will struggle with their mental health, however due to stigma and discrimination, it can be really difficult to tell anyone.

“Mental health is part of everyone’s day to day life, it affects all of us, we want people to understand that it is okay not to be okay and you can talk about it.

“So we think it’s a great idea for St. Enoch Centre to set up a ‘No Phone Zone’, a device free area where people can chat with each other about the important things that matter.

“The more we have areas to talk the more we can change the culture and mental health.”

The ‘No Phone Zone will launch on Monday 2nd March and will be located on the mezzanine level within The Atrium Food Court. Shoppers can use their mobile phones in other areas of the centre.

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