Bedford barber on a mission to cut male mental health issues

Christie Turner the Beford barber looking to cut mental health issues in men
Christie Turner the Bedford barber looking to cut mental health issues in men. Image: Christie Turner

A Bedford barber is on a mission to support men struggling with anxiety, depression and stress, and cut the stigma around men’s mental health issues.

Christie Turner, owner of CT Barbering, and based at My T Sharp on Newnham Avenue, has firsthand experience of the impact of untreated men’s mental health issues, having witnessed several male friends and family members struggle.

A study undertaken by RICS last year showed that 4 in 10 men in the UK won’t speak to their families, friends or health professionals if they are struggling with mental health, and shockingly, 75% of suicides in the UK are male.

Now, through the therapeutic nature of her conversations with clients, which can range from humorous and uplifting to deep and meaningful, she’s been able to help them through some challenging times.

With over a decade of experience, Christie recognises how the traditional barber environment can affect men’s mental health due to societal attitudes towards male self-care and masculinity.

She believes that nurturing the link between looking good and feeling good can make a positive difference, especially with men in the UK visiting a barber every 2.5 weeks on average.

“The statistics around men’s mental health are devastating and highlight the urgent need for support. As a barber, I’m uniquely positioned in the community and have an opportunity to support them,” says Christie.

“I aspire to create an environment where men feel safe to express their feelings and share what’s going on in their lives while promoting the importance of self-care through a range of accessible grooming and wellness services.

“The mental health support available through the NHS isn’t enough to tackle the epidemic of male suicide rates so I’m taking action to support as many men in my community as I can. Hopefully, I can inspire others to do the same.”

Utilising mental health mirror decals that encourage men to open up, a friendly and welcoming atmosphere and a range of wellness services.

These include stress-relieving facials tailored to male skin types, which Christie, who is also a qualified facialist hopes will help to identify early signs of struggle among her clients, offering them crucial support within the community.