Pop-up barber shop offers free haircuts to boost discussions on mental health
The initiative in Glasgow is part of the Scottish Government’s Mind To Mind campaign.
A pop-up barber shop has been offering free haircuts in an initiative aimed at boosting discussions around mental wellbeing among men.
The one-day event in the St Enoch Shopping Centre in Glasgow on Friday is part of the Scottish Government’s Mind To Mind campaign, which supports the mental wellbeing of Scots.
The pop-up was launched with support from the Lions Barber Collective, a charity that trains barbers in mental health awareness.
Mental wellbeing minister Maree Todd said: “Our Mind To Mind campaign promotes open conversations about mental health and wellbeing and provides useful tips and stories of how others deal with life’s challenges, as well as signposting relevant helplines and resources for those who need additional or urgent support.
“Looking after your mental health is as important as looking after your physical health and we should all try to take steps every day to help our wellbeing.
“Talking about how we’re feeling can help to lift our mood and allow us to support others.
“Whether we’re spending time with friends, being active or taking a moment for ourselves, there are lots of things we can do every day to support our wellbeing.”
The Lions Barber Collective was set up in 2015 by Torquay-based barber Tom Chapman, who lost a friend to suicide.
Mr Chapman and the team have been trained to recognise and open conversations on mental wellbeing and discuss support available.
Mr Chapman said: “Barbers are in the very privileged position of having close interaction and relationships with our clients day-in, day-out.
“Our mission is to help create safe spaces where men in particular feel comfortable to speak about their mental health and to be able to signpost them to support and information.
“That peer-to-peer approach that we adopt, which is behind the Mind To Mind ethos, is really important and we are delighted to have collaborated on today’s pop-up event.
“We look forward to having many open and honest discussions around mental wellbeing as we carry out the haircuts throughout the day.”
Mental health support is available on the Mind To Mind website at https://www.nhsinform.scot/mind-to-mind/.
For urgent help, contact the NHS 24 mental health hub, your GP, or police on 111.