Meet the Bedford barber on a mission to help tackle men’s mental health

‘Link between looking good and feeling good can make positive difference’
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A Bedford barber is on a mission to tackle men’s mental health by introducing a range of services designed to help clients open up in a safe and welcoming space.

Christie Turner, who rents a space at My T Sharp in Newnham Avenue, believes barbers play a unique role in offering a support system outside of family, friends and health professionals to support men in the community.

Christie has first-hand experience of the impact of untreated men’s mental health issues, having witnessed several male friends' and family members’ struggles.

Bedford barber Christie Turner is on a mission to help men's mental healthBedford barber Christie Turner is on a mission to help men's mental health
Bedford barber Christie Turner is on a mission to help men's mental health

But through conversations with clients, ranging from humorous and uplifting to deep and meaningful, she’s been able to help them through some difficult and challenging times, and says this motivated her to go further to address the stigma surrounding men’s mental wellbeing.

Christie said: "The statistics around men’s mental health are devastating and highlight the urgent need for support. As a barber, I’m uniquely positioned in the community and have an opportunity to support them. I aspire to create an environment where men feel safe to express their feelings and share what’s going on in their lives, while promoting the importance of self-care through a range of accessible grooming and wellness services.

"The mental health support available through the NHS isn’t enough to tackle the epidemic of male suicide rates so I’m taking action to support as many men in my community as I can. Hopefully I can inspire others to do the same.”

Drawing on over a decade of experience Christie recognises that nurturing the link between looking good and feeling good can make a positive difference.

She added: “I appreciate the significant role barbers play as regular touchpoints in men’s lives, offering a support system outside of family, friends and healthcare providers. Males in the UK visit a barber every 2.5 weeks on average, and this is what helps to build that unique connection.”

Using mental health mirror decals that encourage men to open up, a friendly and welcoming atmosphere and a range of wellness services including stress-relieving facials tailored to male skin types, Christie and her staff hope to identify early signs of struggle among clients, offering them crucial help and support – as well as a decent haircut.

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