Nationwide campaign brings mental health training to barber shops
Ramon Blue is the owner of Right Choice Cutz in Crystal. He says he’s excited to be receiving mental health training from the Confess Project.
“Clients talk to their barbers and I've sat back and talked to guys about everything under the sun. Having the opportunity to have some resources and directions to point them in is outstanding - I'm super excited.”
Blue says it’s common for his clients to want to talk to him while they get their hair cut.
“Sometimes people just want to vent, they just want an ear, they just want somebody to talk to that’s genuinely gonna listen and when they're in the chair there 30-40 minutes or however long they're in there, this is their time.”
Blue says he believes mental health is critically important.
“I think mental health is just as important as physical health and spiritual health in all aspects,” he reflected. “And with everything that's been happening in the world today it's just apparent that these things need to be talked about and approached on a healthy platform.”
According to a 2018 national survey, 4.8 million African American adults suffered from a mental illness. Blue says it’s more common than people realize.
“They’re not alone. They would be surprised about how many people are going through similar or same issues and if you open your mouth and talk you'd be surprised by the advice you can get that might get you through one of them tough days because that’s all it is, is a tough day.”
According to the Confess Project, it’s trained more than 1300 barbers in 46 cities across the country.