A BARBER has trained in mental health to give his clients the chance to talk to him while getting their hair cut.

Craig’s Barbershop in Bolton is run by 32-year-old Craig Henderson, who wants to give men a safe place to talk.

Mr Henderson, who has been a barber for 18 years, trained with the Lions Barber Collective, an organisation that supports barbers in turning haircuts into mental health talks if someone needs it.

Through the programme and training, barbers can signpost men to any services they may require.

Mr Henderson said: “It’s about being there for people in their time of need.

“You can learn a lot about people in that time they are there for their haircut.

“I have boys still in secondary school finding me online and booking appointments and telling me things they would not even tell their own parents.

“I take appointments in the afternoon for people who wish to talk, as then it is not busy.”

The dad of four understands how men can feel lonely as he too suffers with anxiety and is currently receiving counselling.

He said: “I suffer with social anxiety even today, I hate being in crowded places, so I can understand and wanted to make a difference.

“The amount of problems that people offload with me is unbelievable.

“There is so much pressure in the world and we can raise awareness and be there for those men that do not have anywhere else to talk.

“I just want men to know that they can come to the shop if they want to talk to me.

Men’s suicide rates in the UK are higher than that of women, according to research done by The Samaritans.

Research shows 75% of suicides are by men, compared with 25% for women.

The barber said: “Men suffer in silence because they are told to man up, and it is difficult for men to open up when they are expected to be this alpha male who does not feel this way.

“When it was men’s mental health week, it got me thinking about what I could do to help.

“I saw a barber in Wales had trained a little in mental health, but it wasn’t until I found the Lions Barber Collective that I became involved.”

People can find Mr Henderson on social media, including his Instagram @craigsbarbershopbl2