Search

Time to tell your barber how you’re really feeling

PUBLISHED: 11:51 29 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:51 29 November 2018

Co director of Croppers Barbers in Norwich, Steve Bunn, talks about the 12th Man Campaign which aims to get men talking about mental health.
Picture: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018

Co director of Croppers Barbers in Norwich, Steve Bunn, talks about the 12th Man Campaign which aims to get men talking about mental health. Picture: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

Archant 2017

Perhaps it’s time to tell someone how you’re really feeling, starting with the barber.

Don’t say ‘man up’, do say ‘that sounds tough’.

If you’re feeling sensitive the last thing you need is a thoughtless comment if you’re trying to talk.

But knowing what to say – and what not to say – can be difficult for some of us.

Barber Steve Bunn and his team at Croppers men’s hair salon in Norwich are highlighting 12th Man training, an initiative from The Outsiders project in Norfolk which teaches how to help rather than hinder someone who may be having a tough time.

Co directors Michael Nicholson and Steve Bunn of Croppers barbers in Norwich. Picture: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018Co directors Michael Nicholson and Steve Bunn of Croppers barbers in Norwich. Picture: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

The team, among other salons in Norwich, has been trained how to listen to their clients who may be having more than just a bad day.

“We are not psychologists, we want you to come and enjoy the barber shop, but we are here to listen if you want, we are a friendly listening ear,” says Steve.

The training looks at how to help men feel their worries are validated, without being patronising or intimidating.

“Lots of questions can be too probing. The ability to talk sensitively without saying the wrong thing is what it is all about,” says Steve.

Men come to the barbers for a hair cut primarily, says Steve Bunn of Croppers Barbers in Norwich, but the team is happy to talk about mental health too.
 Picture: Sonya Duncan
  Copyright: Archant 2018Men come to the barbers for a hair cut primarily, says Steve Bunn of Croppers Barbers in Norwich, but the team is happy to talk about mental health too. Picture: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

The team is emphasising the training as part of Norfolk County Council’s Menkind initiative, a campaign to encourage men to take their health seriously.

Menkind’s ambassador is former Norwich City footballer Darren Eadie, who has spoken candidly about his own mental health and the time when he struggled with his own thoughts.

Barber Steve says the 12th man training had taught him a lot about empathy and how people end up in different situations, and also how to recognise if something isn’t quite right with people they knew.

“Barbers have a lot of regular clients, and when you have known someone for a long time you may spot if it seems as if things are not going well,” he says.

Co directors Michael Nicholson and Steve Bunn,  part of the Croppers barbers team in Norwich who have become part of the 12th Man Campaign which aims to get men talking about mental health.
Picture: Sonya Duncan
 Copyright: Archant 2018Co directors Michael Nicholson and Steve Bunn, part of the Croppers barbers team in Norwich who have become part of the 12th Man Campaign which aims to get men talking about mental health. Picture: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

Along with city barbers including Blades, Truman’s, and The Den, the Croppers team says obviously men come to the barbers primarily to have their hair done, but knowing they could chat properly was helpful

“The training showed you how to talk if people want to talk and how to expand the conversation,” Steve says, explaining that barbers are easy-going environments so if men wanted to talk, they could.

Sharing his training, he says it’s important to not judge and to be as objective as possible about someone’s situation.

“Being decent to people is a hugely helpful thing,” he adds.

Ready to listen, Steve Bunn of Croppers Barbers in Norwich which is part of the 12th Man Campaign which aims to get men talking about mental health.
 Picture: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018Ready to listen, Steve Bunn of Croppers Barbers in Norwich which is part of the 12th Man Campaign which aims to get men talking about mental health. Picture: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

It means not saying ‘forget about it’ but saying ‘it sounds very hard at the moment for you’. It means not saying ‘anyway, did you see the football’ but saying ‘I think a lot of people feel like that’.

It means not saying ‘don’t worry about it’ but saying ‘I’m here to listen whenever you want.’

Find out more about the work by The Outsiders for the 12th Man training at www.the-outsiders.org.uk and the Norfolk County Council’s Menkind initiative, a drive to encourage men to look after their health at www.norfolk.gov.uk/care-support-and-health/health-and-wellbeing/adults-health/mens-health-menkind

Other popular content

57 minutes ago

Drivers have been urged to avoid a Norfolk road which has been closed following a crash.

Yesterday, 20:50

A couple who saw years of family photos go up in flames after a fire claimed a large part of their house said their “Christmas is gone”.

Worried villagers revealed they were living in fear following the brutal murder of an elderly dog walker in woodland near their homes as the killer remained on the loose.

Friday, August 19, 2011

There were more tears of joy in south Norfolk today as hundreds of students picked up their A-level results with many getting into their first choice university.

Most Read

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: -2°C

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Diss Mercury e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Diss Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View