Fresh cuts key to mental health message for local youths

The Walkabout Barbers were kept busy when they visited Cobar on Friday with 69 locals lining up to get some very cool new haircuts.

There’s lots of fresh looking young men (and a few women) in town at the moment following a visit by the Walkabout Barber on Friday.

Walkabout Barber Brian Dowd created his mobile Barber and Trauma and Recovery service to provide “a space for cuts, connections and real conversations to take place”.

Brian, who holds a postgraduate degree in Indigenous Trauma & Recovery and has more than 16 years experience in the area of social, emotional and well-being treatment, brought his Walkabout Barber experience to Cobar last week.

“It gives men and youth the opportunity to sit in a chair, receive a fresh cut, connect with their barber and open up conversation to do with healing, hope and happiness,” Brian told The Cobar Weekly.

The community-based program aims to engage people of all walks of life and in particular boys and young men.

His visit to Cobar last week was funded by the Outback Division of General Practice with their Cobar Suicide Prevention care coordinator Jody McCabe thrilled with the response from the Cobar community.

“It was a fantastic turn out with 69 cuts and we had to even turn 31 away.

“The kids thought it was fantastic and they related well to Brian’s boys,” Jody said.

In addition to providing some great hair cuts that featured some seriously cool fades, patterns and bolts, Brian also conducted a mental health talk with some of the Cobar Roosters Football Club Under 18’s players and a group of students from Cobar High School.

Jody said when she read about what Brain was doing she liked the idea and thought it would be a different approach to suicide prevention in the community.

In addition to their visit to Cobar, Brain and his crew also spent a day in Bourke and another in Condobolin last week where all up they carried out 307 cuts and conversations.