Cutting HairPeer-run recovery programs owe much of their success to the constant flow of new ideas and suggestions. Who can better know the needs of mental health or addictive disease consumers than the individuals themselves?

Perry Wellness Center has an established governing board that relies on peer input to address problems and peer needs. Sometimes the results are unexpected – but they work!

Take this recent example: The center tries to assist peers in both feeling and looking their best. As they interact with the public and prepare for jobs and other roles in the community, peers learn the importance of everything from appropriate hygiene to “dressing for success.” For some of the gentlemen at Perry Wellness Center, a fresh haircut can make all the difference. But schedules and finances can make a trip to the barber difficult.

Here is where peer Jantwan Twiggs has stepped in. The energetic young peer now offers hair cutting services for male peers at the center. Jantwan explains, “I am not a certified barber, but learned these skills from observing other barbers in my family and when I visited the barber shop. Some of these guys at Perry Wellness Center trust me to cut their hair.”

There is no need for an appointment, and Jantwan is usually prepared to take his clippers and comb to groom his friends. In the photo above, one such “customer,” Brian Mitchell, left, welcomes Jantwan’s barbering skills.

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