BALTIMORE — Bettering your mental health has become a priority for many during the pandemic.
A Baltimore clinic has been exploring new ways to make sure people are comfortable to talk about it, finding success with their latest program: a barbershop on site.
Dayshawn Diggins has been coming to T.I.M.E. Organization for a couple of months now, struggling with substance abuse and bipolar disorder.
The services at T.I.M.E. have been doing wonders for him, but nothing more than getting his hair cut in the clinic itself.
“Do you feel like this is a place that does more for you than a correctional facility?” asked the barber cutting Diggins’s hair.
Immediately, Diggins replied, “Yes, they’re making me realize in myself…who am I. Who I want to become. They’ve been helping me find that self-love.”
Diggins visited with his uncle, Corey Crawley, who’s also been getting mental health services from T.I.M.E. Both are two of the dozens who have been getting haircuts at T.I.M.E.
The barbershop is done through a partnership with Rob’s Barbershop Community Foundation, offering clients who are at risk of mental health issues free haircuts.
Shareese Kess, director of program development at T.I.M.E., helped get this going. She recognized how safe people feel at their barbershops and salons.
“Bringing a safe space into this organization so that individuals–especially black and brown men and women–would feel comfortable,” she said. “In not only unpacking their issues but to get the professional support they need to process and cope with it once they unpack it.”
The barbers and hairstylists are all volunteers and they work with the therapists of each client. Since October, they’ve cut hair for nearly 80 people.
Jason Hamm-Bey is a substance abuse counselor with T.I.M.E., he’s referred many of his clients to the barbershop.
T.I.M.E. is always looking for volunteer barbers and hairstylists for the barbershop. If you’re interested, you can contact Kess by emailing her at email@example.com.
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