Arkansas barbershop re-shaping the stigma on mental health and getting national attention

Value Life

CONWAY, Ark. — Sometimes it can be difficult for men to admit they need help.

But a barbershop in Conway is stepping in to help, and the shop is getting some national attention for it.   

When you see Picture Perfect Barbershop and Salon it might look like the average barbershop. But after partnering with The Confess Project, the group has started come cutting edge conversations.  

“Instead of somebody being mad and wanting to go do something, they can be mad and come talk to my barber,” co-owner Calin Brown said.  

Black men are going a cut above the casual conversations in the chair.  

“We keep a lot inside, a lot of it turns into anger, a lot of times it turns into frustration … and shutting people out.”

Co-owners Calin Brown and Marcus Frye are re-shaping the stigma around mental health. They’ve turned their shop into a place where anyone can come in and talk about what they’re dealing with.  

“We want to create an environment where, they will feel like it’s people that do care,” Brown said.  

The shop is preparing men with strategies and coping skills. All the men behind the blade have been certified to host a checkup from the neck up.  

“So, we can tell by body language, if they are going through something or if they are going through something,” Frye said. “If they not themselves or how they usually react or how they usually come in, they seem a little down. We ask them, alright man what’s going on with you today?” 

Frye said they’ve learned key words to listen for and what not to say. It also helps that they strive to have genuine relationships with everybody.  

Mental health isn’t their only focus.  

“We believe is physical health too,” Frye said.  

The duo decided to put together a gym in the back for clients to work out some of their bottled-up anger.  

“You feel some much better, after you work out,” Frye said. “So I believe the mental and the physical works hand and hand.” 

Leaving people with not only a clean cut but a fresh mindset.  

Their story will also air on the Today show on NBC, January 4. You can watch it on KETK.

Meanwhile the guys say they hope the trend will grow, so they can expand their shop, and have more locations.

The gym is still under construction. If you’d like to donate click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Aaron Nolan is a morning show co-host in Little Rock, Arkansas with Nexstar Media Group's KARK-TV. He has a passion for social media and makes it an important part of his daily routine. Click here to read Aaron's full bio.

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