“We want to help people"
Two Bradford men have launched an initiative to tackle the stigma around men’s mental health through the art of barbering.
Muhammed Ali Islam and Hasnain Shafiq opened Youth Cutz, a barber’s shop set up in Mary Magdalene Church, Bradford, on February 24, 2022.
The initiative came out of the grassroots film Young in Covid which documented the struggles of young people in Bradford during the lockdown.
Youth Cutz gives men the chance to talk about their mental health whilst getting a haircut.
Ali said: “Youth Cutz is an innovative idea that’s unique and aims to tackle the stigma surrounding men’s mental health.
“We have had an incredible amount of support in the two years it has taken to get this project off the ground.
“We want to help people, whether that’s by listening to them, offering advice, or signposting them to where they can access help.
“We’re so proud of what we have achieved so far as two young men from Bradford, and it’s good to see positive representation for Bradford.”
Hasnain has lost three of his close friends to suicide over the years. He spoke about what Youth Cutz means to him.
He explained: “I lost the people who I used to speak to when I was down.
“They were the people who put a smile on my face and my support system.
“It was hard going through that and now I want to help other people.”
“We need to talk about mental health and hopefully, with this initiative, we can reach more men and give them the opportunity to speak about their struggles.”
Youth Cutz will be open every Wednesday between 7:30 pm and 9 pm.
Sharat Hussain, Director at Mary Magdalene CiC said:
“The Youth Cutz launch last night saw the celebration of an innovative grassroots youth barbering space which is supporting young men to better talk about issues impacting on their mental health.
“We are extremely proud of both Ali and Hasnain for coming up with this innovation in such challenging times.”
On the future of Youth Cutz, Ali said:
“We have a number of things in the pipeline and we want to see Youth Cutz expand.
“When I was researching places to seek help with my own mental health, there were hardly any places, so I know that this is going to take off.”