Barber’s and Mental Health

Barbers and mental illness

If the current, endless stream of depressing news is getting you down, there could be a quick lift: get yourself down to your local barber shop.

An illuminating new study has found that some restorative man-time at the barber’s not only cheers us up, but could actually be good for our mental well-being too.

This should be of huge interest to health professionals, because the two items men talk about are about “my health” and “personal issues”.

The paper points to the clinical truth that, in general, men seek professional psychological help less than women do.

The paper points to familiar themes that prevent men opening up: family privacy, lack of knowledge about treatments, and the stigma attached to mental health issues.

Barbers are a trusted confidant for many men; a front-line service for mental health provision. So why not make more of it?

Here, a skilled hand is needed at the helm. Most men would run a mile if they thought barber shops were turning into touchy-feely “safe spaces”.

I believe the sweet spot lies in seeing the barber’s as a modern gentlemen’s club, where men spend time, bantering, networking, and unburdening.

If they want additional, professional help, men can be pointed in the right direction by non-judgmental and trusted “gatekeepers” who just happen to be barbers.

It’s all about talking to men on men’s terms, not expecting them to “man up” or be more like women.

Throw in a few beers or cocktails and some great music and you’re onto something.

source: The telegraph