A new cafe in Moncton is designed specifically to give their employees the opportunity to overcome mental barriers.

Inspiration Cafe is a safe space and a second chance for those working with mental illness.

Those working behind the counter all have their own story.

“I have actually experienced a lot of mental illness in my life,” said employee Emma Blair. “I struggle with severe depression and anxiety.”

Blair has had a love for cooking and creating for as long as she can remember, but she's never had a sense of community at work -- until now.

“When I read the job description, I honestly almost cried. I was like ‘this is perfect, this is meant for me,’” Blair said.

Those who work at the Inspiration Cafe say they love waking up every morning knowing that they're coming to a safe space.

A safe space that isn't just a workplace, it’s an integration back into society for those who face barriers to employment particular to homelessness or mental health issues.

“There are participants who haven't worked some in quite a few years, who have struggled finding employment due to their anxiety, depression, various other heath conditions they might have,” said program manager Rachel Scoville.

Nathan Boulter lives with anxiety. Part of his mental health journey has included volunteering at the United Way and with the Canadian Mental Health Association.

His next step was employment, and getting into a daily routine at the Inspiration Cafe.

“It just helps me start my day a bit better than, say, sleeping in ‘til noon,” Boulton said.

Whether they're doing the dishes, cheffing up a meal or mixing a cappuccino, there's something for everyone.

“One of our employees, Maddie, she says ‘I love working here, it gives me a reason to get up in the morning, to come to work,’” said Scoville. “Those words are so endearing to hear every day.”

“If someone who has a mental illness wanted to work here, it would be a perfect opportunity to gain experience at working,” Boulter said.

The cafe is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the basement of Moncton's Community Peace Centre.

It’s a fitting space for those getting a little more peace of mind and a lot more life experience.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kate Walker.