Original article from Kent Live
A barbershop focused around improving people's mental health has opened in Chatham.
The No Bad Days shop opened on St Mary's Island around three months ago, and has since received an overwhelming amount of support from locals.
Customers even include a number of Gillingham Football Club players, as well as Team GB Olympic gymnast Giarnni Regini-Moran.
Jake Cox, owner of the shop, told KentLive he has been cutting hair for over six years, but this is the first shop he has ever owned.
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"Since the day of opening we've been fully booked every day," the 27-year-old said.
"It rose from the ashes of lockdown really, this is the first time I've had my own shop and it's just great to have that creative freedom.
"It's definitely not just a shop to cut hair, I wanted to introduce something different, a new generation of barbers."
The barbershop is described as a safe environment for people to come and relax, where all appointments are booked online and the barbers are there to listen to you.
"The whole ethos behind No Bad Days is a heads up to mental health," Jake continued.
"It's to remind people that you may have bad hours or moments, but that doesn't have to make the whole day a bad experience.
"I've been pretty open about my experiences with mental health which then encourages people to talk about issues which definitely aren't discussed enough."
Customers can use their booking to sit and have a one-to-one conversation with their barber while receiving their haircut.
Jake wanted to use his own experiences of dealing with mental health and turn it into an idea that can help others.
He explained: "I definitely had problems in the past trying to find coping mechanisms to help myself when I was suffering.
"I couldn't find many people openly happy to speak about these issues, which is why we talk to our customers and see how they are doing."
Jake is a qualified mental health first-aider which he says will help him educate his members of staff.
"My education will allow me to sit down with other members of my staff and talk through with them about possible triggers," he added.
"I'd like to be proactive rather than reactive and aim to tackle the subject of mental health before it becomes a problem.
"The nature of the job is also beautiful in itself since when someone walks in they may be a bit overgrown and not feeling themselves.
"You can then spend a good hour making them feel fresh so they can take that attitude with them when they leave."
10 per cent of all profits generated by the barbershop is donated to leading mental health charity MIND.
The charity is close to Jake's heart, and he believes additional funds are his way of giving back for the help he received.
"MIND really helped me at a time when I really needed them a few years ago", he said.
"I didn't even know that they were there, and I always thought these things could only be discussed with a GP.
"When I was younger there wasn't really much of a push for these non-profit charities
"They were so brilliant with me and have helped to put me back on track."
You can find out more about the shop over on the Instagram page @nobaddaysuk.
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