Barista, barman, barber or quack?
I was thinking of filming a music video based on this idea… …That when it comes to mental health, people - particularly men? - would talk to a whole host of other professions rather than an actual professional.
It’s what started me off on this whole journey, having these conversations after my concerts.
The Chord of E
You can forget those years, normally eight, of education and residency to achieve the glorious title of shrink.
Give me someone who can steam some milk and grind some beans or strum the chord of E - now there’s a good basis for a one-on-one session about depression or his many myriad of associated symptoms.
The film would see a group of blokes queuing outside the pub, café, music venue or some other everyday joint, while at the clinic our dedicated, qualified and empathetic expert is reading the paper, no doubt contemplating a new angle on one of the many theories drummed into a younger version of the brain in a University lecture theatre.
As the film progresses, we are led to think that this genuine superhero may well have a patient. Someone in need of help. But we quickly realise the visitor is only after directions. He’s realised that he’s lost his way, but not in any deep and meaningful sense. He was trying to find the gentleman’s salon.
It’s a £15 haircut, but he gets to talk in a safe environment. Skirt around the edges of crisis. Laugh off the conversation if it actually gets somewhere close to anything real.
Not enough friends
I used to think that this was the reason the desperate few chose to see a psychiatrist. After all, if you had a number of good friends then the communication would flow freely. Indeed, there’s obviously nothing wrong with this, nor indeed anything bad about talking over a latte, a pint, or a song. (Actually, always wait for the music to stop. Wait until the end of the tune.)
It gets much better
But if you are in need, do get professional help. At first it’s not as easy as any of the other environments, but it gets better and it helps in a way that a good friend can’t always. Reaching out and seeing a psychiatrist is a sign of strength, of self-understanding. It’s a positive first step away from how you’re feeling.
Take it, you deserve it x