A Gloucester barber has trained all staff to spot mental health issues in clients in a bid to promote mental health awareness in men.
The Pride Salon, a hair salon and barbers based in Gloucester, has reopened after receiving training from the Lions Barber Collective charity and NHS funding.
The Lions Barber Collective charity was started by a collection of top barbers who have come together to help raise awareness for the prevention of suicide.
The salon now hopes to help people who might not normally seek support for mental health problems.
The training helps staff to listen and recognise symptoms of depression and talk with clients.
Founder of the charity Tom Chapman believes people open up to barbers because of the level of trust and intimacy between hairdressers and their clients.
According to mental health charity Samaritans, there were 6,859 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland in 2018 with the highest rate among men aged 45-49.
It is often joked about that hairdressers are therapists, but barbers are a safe and trusted place to talk about how you are feeling and with training, staff can now direct clients to the right support.
The charity has created BarberTalk, an online training programme built around barbering demos.
The aim isn’t to make barbers into counsellors, but to aid them with the four pillars of the programme: recognise; ask; listen; help.
This can bridge the gap between communities and provide resources in a non-judgemental safe space.
If you need mental health support now, contact Samaritans on 116 123