AUSTIN, Texas — The year of 2020 has brought in an all-time high and surges for just about everything, including unemployment rates, the economy, homelessness, and not mention depression rates.

With everything the year had to offer, some health experts say mental health could be one of the biggest issues of the New Year.

While living through a global pandemic isn’t stressful enough, some Texans say additional stress from the new normal, such as virtual learning, isolation, being jobless, and the fear of contracting COVD-19 is taking a new toll on their mental health.

As a vaccine for the coronavirus is making its rounds across the country, Roger Pinley of Radix House Coffee is setting out to ease a little tension with a conversation and a cup of coffee. An old pastime Pinley is using to serve a new purpose when it comes to mental health during the times of uncertainties.

A person pours coffee (Lakisha Lemons/Spectrum News 1)
A person pours coffee (Lakisha Lemons/Spectrum News 1)

“A lot of people ask me why you open a business in the middle of COVID-19. ‘Why would you gamble all of your earnings away?’ Quite honestly, because if I died of COVID, at least I went out doing something of service,” Pilney.

Pilney is a suicide survivor who’s battled PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder most of his life. He is now focused on spreading awareness about the disorder as well as treatment options in the form of cannabidiol (CBD).

With his business partner, Gabriel Medel, Pinley created a community at Radix House Coffee located 2701 W William Cannon Drive in Austin.

The community at Radix is a safe space to educate customers on the benefits of CBD infused coffee or lend an ear to listen over a cup of joe.

Medel says on a regular basis he has conversations with customers about life and the pain associated with it. He realized a lot of triggers came from isolation due to COVID-19.

“This is what we wanted to create for these people to come and have a safe place be vulnerable and how CBD can help,” said Medel.

Pinley says he and are Medel are not doctors but together they’ve been through so much due to their own experiences their advice and opinions may help shorten the research for others who are curious about PTSD or CBD products.

“We live in a world of reviews and why not let us give your 5-star reviews with a bigger goal of us having a foundation?  We want to use our business to fund a foundation so people can get resources for PTSD,” said Pinley.