Sheffield men ‘feel more comfortable talking about mental illness to their barber than a doctor’

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A Sheffield barber has joined forces with a national charity to help spot the signs of mental illness in customers – after a survey revealed more than half of men feel more comfortable talking to their hairdresser than their family doctor.

Neil Tomlinson, who works at Savills on Devonshire Street, has joined forces with luxury male grooming brand The Bluebeards Revenge and charity The Lions Collective, to raise awareness as part of World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10.

A survey sampled 1908 men currently living in Britain and revealed that 53 per cent of them are more likely to discuss private issues, such as depression and other mental health issues, with their barbers. In addition 78 per cent also make a conscious effort to regularly visit the same barber.

In comparison, only 54 per cent of these same men find themselves consulting with the same doctor.

Neil said: “Thousands of men are likely hiding from issues that they should be comfortably discussing with their doctors, such as depression, anxiety, and even post traumatic stress disorder.”

The survey further highlighted that 71 per cent of men have a good relationship with their barber. Meanwhile, 59 per cent rated their patient to doctor relationship as just average or poor.

Tom Chapman, founder of The Lions Barber Collective charity, said: “Our work educates barbers and their clients in how to spot the symptoms associated with depression. Then, through building a genuine relationship with the client in the chair, barbers are able to offer support on many different levels; sometimes a man just needs someone he can trust to confide in – he doesn’t want to be told what he should do, or how to ‘fix’ his problem, he just wants someone to listen.”

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