Villas, the theme park where you can eat, play, and hang out in a park with a full-service mental health facility, is taking the world by storm, but its not just because of its stunning architecture and a new theme park.
It’s because it’s so much more than just a place for families.
“It’s a place where you don’t feel like you’re a stranger, but a community,” says Danielle Wootten, the executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, a nonprofit that works to protect people with mental health issues.
“You have a whole group of people that you can really talk to about how you can make your life better.”
While the theme parks, like any community, have their own set of challenges, they can also provide a safe place to be.
“We have a really unique thing that we’re able to do, and we’re not just going to get a lot of visitors and that’s fine, but we’re really able to connect with people who have mental health challenges and to support them,” says Wooten.
“If they have any concerns about the park, we have people to talk to.”
It’s a safe space for families to feel welcome.
It provides a space for kids to play, which they enjoy, and a place to have a meal or hang out, which is what families do all the time in the U.S. The villas at Villa Nova Menu, where the guests can play, play games, and relax, are the first of their kind.
It was built to make it feel like they are home, so that kids and families can feel comfortable sharing their daily lives.
“What we are trying to do is to really create a safe environment where they feel comfortable to hang out and they feel safe,” says Lauren Stoll, the chief operating officer of Villa Novas Menu.
“And also to create a place that they feel like a part of and they’re like family.”
Villa No.1 Menu’s opening this fall, and the first two weeks of the park’s operations will feature a “social game room,” a lounge, and an outdoor dining area with a kitchen, bar, and seating for a total of 40 people.
Wootnens hopes the villas and theme parks will be a model for other parks to follow.
“For people who are experiencing mental health and they want to be at home, they want a place, a safe, quiet place, to be safe and secure, and not to feel like there’s a problem with the other people they’re around,” she says.
“They’re not going to feel unsafe or isolated.
We’re going to be here for them.”
A family at Villa nova Menu.
Photo: Villa novas menu, Lauren Stell.
It may sound obvious, but Villa novas menu is a good place to start.
“Our goal is to build a safe and welcoming environment that will be welcoming for everyone, and be inviting for families,” Stoll says.
Villa novs menu has a staff of 16 people, who will help create and maintain the menu, and are also trained in how to work with families.
Stoll and Wootenfors hope Villa novo Menu will become a model that helps others feel safe to visit, even when they don’t know anyone else.
“The best thing we can do is really work on this with the community, the guests, and with the parks,” Stell says.