By Jack James
Queensland’s first men’s mental health barbershop, has opened up in Coorparoo.
Founder of A Change for Change, Ivan Mardones, says the goal is to stamp out the stigma linked between men and mental health.
“That’s what needs to end. The fear and the connotations that people have on what it means to be a man, and what it means to have depression or what it means to have anxiety,” he said.
“Going to the barber is so mundane, but it can be such a powerful tool.”
The barbershop features a pool table, video games, pop culture wall art and a fridge full of cold brews.
All barbers are trained in mental health first aid, and the shop only seats one client at a time.
Resident barber, Traci, says interested clients are referred to their network of mental health professionals.
“We have a clinical psychologist. I have her on speed dial. I’ll ask her to come to the shop or I’ll bring the client to her practice so I’m not breaking the connection,” she said.
Similar barbershop initiatives have been successful overseas.
Dozens of top hair professionals across the UK and Europe are supporting the Lions Barber Collective, which started in England.
Find out more about the Lions Barber Collective and it’s founder, Tom Chapman, here.
One in eight Australian men will experience depression, and one in five will experience anxiety at some stage of their lives, according to a 2019 study from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Alternatively, if you would like to talk to someone immediately about mental health, Lifeline is available 24/7 on 13 11 14.