The biggest killer in males under 45 is suicide. A person in Preston takes their own lives every 17 days. These were the starting points for our “alright mate” campaign. We just decided that as a barbers, with our client base and ourselves falling into the category, why not try and do something? Welcome to the “Alright mate” campaign. It’s a statement we often say to each other, but there’s very little feeling behind it, we’re just going through the motions. So let’s stop. Acknowledge that sometimes we’re not ok and that’s fine. Let’s create an environment where it’s ok to talk about our mental health and it not be a problem. That’s all we set out to do. Support our clients, support each other. Practically, we did this with events like meditation classes, which run at the shop once a month and allow staff and clients some downtime away from the hectic barbershop environment and the outside world. Some time to hit the reset button and empty our trash folders in our heads. The feedback has been amazing and on a personal note, I’ve had some cracking nights sleep! We’ve also added a new member to the team, Fran the shop dog; who along with being a friendly little addition, is there to provide a stress reduction and improve social interaction, as identified in plenty of current research on the benefits of dogs within the workplace. The alright mate campaign isn’t just a campaign, it’s here to stay. Simply, men’s mental health isn’t just an issue now, it’s not just a bandwagon to jump on, it’s something that we should acknowledge; address and openly discuss. Whether that’s in the barbers chair, with a mate, or to a stranger. It’s alright mate.