llow us to take a serious tone for a moment. November, or Movember as some of you may know it, is more than just a month where we can grow moustaches without judgment. It is also home to International Men’s Day (19th) and that offers us a chance to talk about men’s mental health, without judgement.
You may well be thinking “but when can’t we talk about such sensitive issues without judgement?”. The simple fact of the matter is many men feel under pressure to perform at a certain level without showing weakness. Masculinity, with all its brawn, balls and banter can be a pretty hard regime to keep up with. Even the strongest of men have their moments.
It’s Good to Talk
As clichéd as the phrase may be, talking really is the key. With initiatives such as Movember, World Mental Health Day and International Men’s Day, men are talking more than ever before. Whilst we’re talking more, we’re still seeing unprecedented levels of male suicide, especially among men aged between 25-50.
Be a Bro
If you don’t have at least one friend you think you can open up to, maybe that’s because you haven’t taken that step. In the 21st century the moniker ‘Bro’ is seen everywhere among men. Think about what it takes to be a Bro. There through thick and thin, looking out for each, being like a brother.
Talking to your Bro openly and honestly about your issues might be the step towards fixing whatever you have going on inside. Talking to your Bro might be the step towards fixing whatever he has got going on inside. The stigma that surrounds mental health, that leads men to bottle feelings up and not let them out, really needs to end.
Mothers, Wives, Girlfriends and Lovers
Your partner should be your trusted confidant. Communication is the key to a working relationship and if you’re holding everything inside, it’ll show on the outside. When you live in close quarters with anyone, it creates tension and underlying issues can often exasperate this.
Talking about how you’re feeling or what’s pulling on your heart strings can go a long way to keeping the atmosphere at home harmonious. Confiding in those closest to you should always be your go to, they know you well, they love you.
If you’ve weighed up your options and you really cannot confide in friends or family. Speak to a professional. There are numerous organisations the world over with telephone lines waiting to hear from you.
With strictest confidentiality, often manned by volunteers these people are there to listen, and to talk. It is not uncommon for these volunteers to have suffered some history of psychological issues themselves and feel giving back what they received goes someway to keeping their health in check.
It is often the case that you do not fully appreciate a situation until it has passed. If people are reaching out to you and asking you to take steps, heed their advice.
We’re All Ears
Ears are a sensitive subject in the barbers due to us trimming round them with razor sharp scissors. But we’re good listeners, good talkers and as often is the case, semi-regular acquaintances.
When you’re in for a trim and we ask how your day has been, it is small talk, but we’re trying to break the ice to get to know you. Small talk strikes up conversation. A barber’s relationship with his clients is about building trust, getting to know you, and ultimately understanding your needs. If that strays a little further than your preference on the clippers, so be it. We are all ears.
Below are a couple of links you can follow if you feel like you need to talk.
Worldwide services can be found here –