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Barbering and Mental Health

Barbering and Mental Health
Saturday 10th September is World Suicide Prevention Day. This is a day where organisations and communities from all around the world come together to raise awareness of how we can create a world where fewer people die by suicide.
 
Sadly, there are some shocking statistics that really hit home:
 
  • Globally, on average, 1 man dies by suicide every minute of every day
  • 3 out of 4 suicides in the UK are men.
 
Thankfully though, as time goes on, the subject is becoming less taboo with more and more people being able to open up and talk to someone about how they feel.

As barbers we do not underestimate the effect that we can have on someone’s mental health.

 
There are few places where many will spend such a long period of time in a one-to-one close contact situation.
 
For some this may mean some calm time away from the office or a hectic schedule, for others it’s a time to let off steam, and for some it’s just a simple chat about the weather, gig recommendations or their favourite sports team.
 
Like haircuts, everyone is different, and we chat to all types of people day-in, day-out so we like to think we’re pretty good at it.
 
The barbershop has long been seen as a sanctuary, and in recent times this has been recognised with the formation of a number of organisations that focus on mental health through our industry.
 
One of the earliest, and possibly the most well-known, of these pioneers is Movember.
 
Many of you will know this as the reason for all of those ridiculous moustaches that pop up on your mates, family and colleagues through the eleventh month.
 
It all started with two mates from Melbourne who managed to rope in thirty local guys to grow out a ‘tache for a month. Fast forward almost twenty years and it has now become a worldwide annual even with some 6.5 million odd “Mo Bros and Sisters”, over 1250 men’s health projects funded and over £400 million raised.
 
Another more recent group formed with a shared aim is the Lions Barber Collective, who were created following a comment on a Facebook group.
 
They are an international group of barbers who attend festivals and events and create events and talks to raise awareness for the prevention of suicide.
 
In July this year fitness brand Gymshark realised the link between barbering and mental health as they opened a pop-up called Deload.
 
It offered haircuts and talks from mental health trained people as a “non-judgemental safe space for men to open up, offload and have a chat”.
 
All of this points to the fact that an hour or so spent at the barbers can mean so much more than just getting a fresh trim (although that can be a pretty decent feeling too).
Many barber-client relationships have been built up over many a visit, and it’s not something to be taken for granted.
 
Of course, as snippers, we fully appreciate that there are some circumstances where only a medical professional can help, but we want you to know that we’re always here for a chat and you can feel free to open up to us.
 
In all of our stores we aim to create a safe, non-biased and open space for everyone.
 
 
Campaign Against Living Miserably - CALM
http://www.thecalmzone.net/
CALM offer support information and advice for men, helping to prevent male suicide.
Helpline: 0800 58 58 58 (lines open 5pm – 12 midnight)
 
Samaritans
http://www.samaritans.org
If you’re feeling emotionally distressed and need someone to talk to, you can phone at any time of day or night.
Helpline: 116 123 (lines open 24 hours, free and does not appear on telephone billing)

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