The Beauty Shop is a community enabling package and the sister magazine to Barbershop. Common Unity worked in partnership with the founders of Barbershop Preston and Barbershop Birmingham to develop The Beauty Shop Magazine.
Many communities see mental illness as a taboo and often not talked about subject, this is normally due to the lack of knowledge, understanding and the belief that it is not a health issue but spiritual. Individuals with mental illness can often be rejected by their own community and are either confined within the family home, sent back home to their country of origin or are left isolated without any family/support network.
The Magazine promotes positive mental health to women in areas of deprivation. In particular, it will target those women who are least likely to engage in health and community participation, namely: BME women, women who are victims of domestic violence, drug users, asylum seekers, and those not in employment or further education. It has a multi-cultural focus addressing issues of faith, culture and race in mental health. It also promotes an understanding and co-operation between communities.
The identified benefits:
• Enable service users to take greater responsibility for their own health.
• Develop new skills that may lead to employment
• Form a social network and a safe arena for sharing experiences
• Raising health literacy in communities and individual’s ability to better understand effective interventions.
• Empowering communities to take control of their health needs
• Create community brokers that could bridge the cultural gaps between communities and services
The magazine is distributed to key venues within Heart of Birmingham identified as those giving the best chance of access to South Asian and black women in particular (aged 18-45), but also to those from other communities experiencing similar problems.