Barber chair conversations for mental health

Sergeants Ryan Pedder and Connor O’Neill and Leading Aircraftman Liam Ramsay took a seat in the barber chair to have insightful conversations on men’s mental health issues in front of lights and a camera.

CAPTIONRAAF Sergeant Ryan Pedder travelled to the central coast to have his haircut by Instagram content maker Nick Senem. Story by Corporal Melina Young. Photos by Corporal Melina Young.

Barber Nick Senam believes in the power of communication through barbering and, together with the Top Blokes Foundation, created a space where men canopen up at their own pace while having their haircut.

“It was great to be able to share some experiences while giving a haircut to the lads, hopefully adding some value to others’ lives with the conversation we had,” Mr Senam said.

“Being a barber, I get to experience conversing with people from different walks of life and being able to share and speak about their stories helps shed light on what others may be going through.

“It is a great space to speak, whether it’s [about something] good or bad.”

Leading Aircraftman Ramsay was given not only a great haircut, but the opportunity to chat about what he learnt on the Building Blokes Program recently delivered at RAAF Base Williamtown.

“To have an insightful conversation about men’s mental health between two blokes was a good step forward in breaking the stigma around men speaking up, because ‘it aint too weak to speak’.

“I got to chat about the cause we are supporting, and being asked to give advice for younger guys was very moving.

“Hair salons are traditionally a place where women open up to other women, so maybe this is something that we can learn from them.”

The challenge has generated a lot of support and has given the team from 2 Operational Conversion Unit an extra sense of pride as they continue to raise awareness of this cause.

“It really gives me the impression people care about changing the stigma of men’s mental health,” he said.

The video on the event will be posted on the Top Blokes Foundation YouTube channel @TopBlokesFoundation at the end of the month.

CAPTIONIn support of ‘Movember’, RAAF Sergeant Connor O’Neill had an open and honest conversation about men’s mental health issues with Instagram creator Nick Senam who believes in the power of communication through barbering.


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