Barbershop chairs become safe spaces, way to clear mind during stressful times

Posted at 12:56 PM, Mar 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-04 18:36:48-05

FERNDALE, Mich. (WXYZ) — For many of us, it can feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders, especially with news of world conflicts available at our fingertips.

For many men, going to the barbershop is a way to clear their minds. It's a ritual for most — every two weeks, like clockwork.

LeAndre's barber chair has turned into a space where people are able to share what’s heavy on their mind.

“Client-barber — it’s a thing," he said.

Lately, Johnson says many people are expressing a never-ending cycle of stress. It started with the health and financial scare of the pandemic, then inflation and now the war in Ukraine.

“It’s just a lot of information overload,” licensed mental health counselor Patrece Lucas said.

Lucas says what’s adding to people’s stress is social media. For the first time in history, people are witnessing the traumas of the world unfiltered and almost instantaneously.

“And it’s brought into their homes and hearts and they're struggling with it,” Lucas said.

Studies show millennials in particular are struggling.

A study by Blue Cross Blue Shield shows from 2019 to 2020, there was a 12% increase in people dealing with major depression between the ages of 26 and 41.

The Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network has a 24/7 Access Center Helpline. They says 45% of its calls are from people in that age group.

On Wednesday, Macomb County Community Mental Health held a round table with doctors and therapists discussing ways those dealing with mental health issues can get relief.

One suggestion was to involve oneself in free public mental health care programs or to call a mental health care professional.

But Jon Drake, owner of Faded The Barbershop, wanted to meet people where they were.

Next week, he is hosting “You are Not Alone,” an event that will provide a safe space for people to open up about mental health without judgment.

But he’s hoping that stigma will fade, not only with the event happening next Sunday, but his podcast called “Faded,” where men simply share their feelings.

“I’m hoping people will open up more and share with their friends and family,” Drake said.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, click on the link for a full list of resources.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call: 1-800-273-8255 - Available 24/7
Text TALK to 741741

Oakland Community Health Network
5505 Corporate Drive Troy, Michigan 48098
24-hour crisis number: 248-456-1991 or 800-231-1127

Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority dba Detroit-Wayne Integrated Health Network707 West Milwaukee Detroit, Michigan 48202
24-hour crisis numbers: 313-224-7000 or 800-241-4949

Macomb County CHM Services
22550 Hall Road Clinton Township, Michigan 48036
24-hour crisis number: 586-307-9100

Michigan Stay Well Counseling via COVID-19 hotline
Call 1-888-535-6136 – Press "8" to talk to a Michigan Stay Well counselor.Counselors available 24/7 - confidential and free