Updated: Mar 25, 2020
I recently found out that barbers in North Wales are being trained to spot the warning signs of mental health problems in their customers.
This was launched on International Men’s Day, the initiative aims to raise awareness of male suicide, which is the biggest killer of men under 45 across the UK.
Barbers in Wales are being trained to spot the warning signs of mental health problems in their customers, along with best practice guidance on how to listen, give helpful advice, and signpost to support services.
I think that barbershops have an important role to play in supporting men who are struggling with their mental health.
Since opening Craig's Barber Shop in Bolton two years ago, myself 32 years old, I have my own experiences of stress, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
I feel that barbershops provide that safe space for men to open up about how they’re feeling.
As a barber we not close enough to all our customers to know what is going on in their lives, but we work in close proximity to them for around 30 minutes
and we are literally touching and talking to them, that breaks down a barrier and brings more openness and wiliness to talk. In the past, I’ve had people crying in my chair and telling me stuff. Simply asking people how they are and how they’re doing can make all the difference.
I don’t often have the answers but I know I can make an impact by just listening.
The training provided in Wales is being supported by NHS Charity, Awyr Las’ I CAN campaign, and is being led by representatives from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Sam Watson.
Sam Watson from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said the training drive would complement, work that is taking place across the region to improve mental health support.
I think their a number of successful initiatives to encourage people to talk about their mental health, but it’s also vital that people have the skills to listen effectively and provide helpful advice.
As people in the hair and beauty industry, we need to be working hard to improve the mental health where we can and be recognized for the crucial role we play in helping our customers deal with there mental health issues.
If you got a moment spare please sign my petition, and let's see if we get some training rolled out to the people in the hair and beauty industry here in England.