As part of the Shining a Light on Suicide campaign, run by Greater Manchester’s health and social care leaders, a pop-up barbershop has been running in the city centre with the aim of improving people’s mental health.
The shop itself was opened at Piccadilly train station by an international group of barbers, The Lions Barber Collective, to help provide people with a safe space they can visit when in need of kindness and support, ITV News reports.
Tom Chapman, founder of the Collective, explained that it’s all about preventing mental health conditions before they manifest, saying: “We don’t have many touch points where we have human contact anymore. I think it’s really powerful, having a conversation one to one uninterrupted.”
The Shining a Light on Suicide campaign was commissioned by the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, launching in May 2019. It was set up to help prevent suicide by taking the subject out of the dark and encouraging people around the city to talk openly about suicide, suicidal thoughts and suicide bereavement.
Noting that it’s not about replacing therapists and doctors, Mr Chapman noted that people can be trained to recognise the symptoms of someone struggling and what questions to ask well and with confidence, as well as listening with empathy and free from judgement.
From there, they can also be provided with information about places to signpost people where they can go to access help and support.
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