SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Health and Human Services commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris joined the Trust Transfer Project to show appreciation for Black barbers.

According to Springfield Sarno, it is important to highlight the roles of barbers who are often a listening ear that people can confide in. The Health and Human Services commissioner of Springfield told 22News that the listening skills and the ability to mentor and nurture found in Black barbershops can be crucial to the local community.

“Mental Health Awareness month is a time where we can appreciate the role of all practitioners. Black barbers are a practitioner as far as mental health is concerned,” said Caulton-Harris.

John Miller from Six Corners Barber and Styling Shop told 22News, “We have the opportunity to pass information onto clients, listen to their problems. I am a cancer survivor so I talk about my concern, my health issue with my customers.”

For some customers, it’s more than just a haircut. Caulton-Harris and Sarno recognized local barbers for their service and commitment to the community.

Mayor Sarno states, “Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris and I are proud to acknowledge, recognize and honor our Springfield black barbershops as part of Black Barbershop appreciation in collaboration with Mental Health awareness month.  It is important to highlight the importance and the significant role barbers play in the lives of their clients and the community and personal confidants who are often a listening ear and trusted counsel during our most challenging times.  My late father, Al ‘The Barber’ Sarno, was also a staple in the community offering a listening ear and words of wisdom for his clients so this event is of special importance for me.”