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For generations, the barbershop chair has held a special place for men of color, creating a safe place for discussing topics that could sometimes seem taboo. An upcoming event aims to train barbers to better tackle tough subjects like mental health and substance use.

Barbershop Talk 2.0—Men’s Mental Health Awareness Training will give participants a better understanding of mental health conditions and of local community resources. It will also provide an opportunity for naloxone training to reverse opioid overdoses.

The free training will be facilitated by Gary “Trey” Taylor, a licensed clinical social worker and author who specializes in breaking barriers and stigma surrounding mental healthcare. Taylor, a local therapist and owner of Uphold 31:8, partnered with RACSB last year to host the first Barbershop Talk, a public conversation about mental health held at a local barbershop.

This year’s event will be held July 17, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and is geared toward barbers. The first 15 who register and attend will receive a $50 gift card. Additional resource items will be available at the event and light refreshments will be served.

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