A haircut and therapy, woman helps people with mental illness in an unconventional way

SEATTLE - From a chair in Capitol Hill, one local woman is a problem solver. Little by little, the dead weight comes off.

“Trying to give you more layers,” hairstylist Sydney Miller said. The transformation lights up the face staring back at Miller.

“It’s a place where people can relax and get their self-esteem kind of built,” Miller said.

One after the other she builds that confidence free of charge. In exchange Miller is hoping for a human connection.

“This is where my hearts at, “ Miller said.

Her calling in life is to help people who are mentally struggling that’s why years back she left her career as a hairstylist.

Now Miller works full time as a social worker at Sound Health of King County coaching people through crisis.

It was only recently she decided to marry the two skills.

“This is a way I can use my unique skill set to make a difference,” Miller said.

So the first Tuesday of every month, it’s Miller’s unconventional way of helping people.

“It may not be as daunting as therapy this is a way to engage people in a different way,” Miller said.

And on the Tuesday Q13 News visited Miller, her last client of the day was a man named Dave.

“People are afraid if I open up in an elevator,” Dave said.

Dave who struggles with mental illness says life is hard and many times he feels isolated.

“If I were to say hi how was your day been, they just probably ignore you,” Dave said.

But he has Miller’s undivided attention and interaction is making Dave feel valued.

And Miller says we can all do this for one another.

“It does hurt me to see the world go into their phones and not be as connected I hope I can be here and model the importance of human connection,” Miller said.

Because that’s the true beauty of her work.