Yorkton barber shop opening up conversations about men's mental health
YORKTON -- A Yorkton barber shop is offering more than just hair cuts for its customers, giving them a safe place to open up about their mental health.
Owner Sean Craib-Petkau said he created Parlour Barber Shop as a place for men to relax and open up.
"I see guys on the best days of their life, when they're having a child or getting married, and I see guys on some of the worst days of their lives, when they're going to a funeral for a loved one, and everything in between there," Craib-Petkau explained.
Even though the customers in his seats don't always have an outpouring of thoughts and feelings, he has learned to listen over the years.
"It's just like say you have something burdening you and you just want to say something out loud, this is somebody that will listen to that and that's as far as it has to go," said Dougal Todd, who’s friendship with Craib-Petkau blossomed through the shop.
Craib-Petkau said this open communication is a two-way street supporting his needs as well, as he also has a chance to voice his grievances.
He has faced his own struggles with depression, anxiety and alcohol addiction and said sharing common experience helps form a bond.
"When you genuinely care about the person with you and you can bring them in as they are there's a… very special connection that takes place there and you know there's few relationships that may last longer than a man and his barber."
Those in the chair are able to choose whether they want to open up or not as he says he doesn’t “drive the bus,” but there is always an open ear to help the customer find some solace.
Whether customers wants a quiet cut, to vent or to joke around and have fun, the environment is welcoming to all.
"It's really in that sharing, that common connection that that bond can form and you know I think in some people's lives that bond might be lacking together and I think we all need that, especially right now when we're distanced and isolated," Craib-Petkau said.
The shop is moving to a new location on 2nd Avenue North in the New Year to help with distancing. There are also plans to make it more of a hang out spot, pool table and all, for when gatherings are permitted again.