Thanks to a new program funded by the NHS, Black barbers working in Islington, UK are doing more than just cutting hair. Barbers are being trained to provide mental health support to their customers, which includes learning to spot warning signs, how to talk about sensitive mental health topics, and what resources to offer that can provide further support. Barbers in the area report that customers frequently bring up topics like loneliness, racism, societal pressure, and trauma. The initiative is an attempt to bridge the gap in mental health care inequities and provide support to Black men in the community. Barbershops are often used as a safe space for people to share vulnerable stories and connect with one another, and now barbers will have the training they need to listen and speak about these issues effectively.
Image via Mitch Fly / My London
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