This World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September) Tom Chapman and the Lions Barber Collective are urging UK barbers and hairdressers to take training to ensure that their clients are supported with their mental health and prevent possible suicides.
Set up nearly five years ago, the Lions Barber Collective recognises that hair professionals offer a friendly face and a welcoming ear to clients. The charity has now developed a clinically backed training programme called BarberTalk for barbers and hairdressers to support their clients and communities.
The BarberTalk training is based on the four pillars of Recognise, Ask, Listen and Help which gives barbers the knowledge to be able to bridge the gap between the communities they serve and the mental health resources available. You can find out more about BarberTalk here.
With someone taking their own life every 120 minutes, 75% of them being men, the need for change is more crucial than ever. MB encourages all barbers to engage and inform themselves on the topic of mental health – BarberTalk is a brilliant training initiative to help you do just that.
The Lions Barber Collective backstory
After the death of his friend Alex, Torquay-based barber Tom founded the charity to create a non-clinical, non-judgemental safe space where men could talk openly about their mental health struggles and could be pointed in the right direction of resources and support to help them.
Tom says: “With the male suicide rates recently going up and the impact of COVID19 on the nation, the need for safe, non-judgemental, non-clinical spaces that are accessible where people feel comfortable to talk is essential to help look after the wellbeing of those in need. The salons and barbershops will no doubt be providing this service, with some training this extensive network/infrastructure can really save lives!”
‘The 1.7 Million Haircut’
Over the last five years the charity has gone from strength to strength, and the journey can be seen in the charity’s documentary ‘The £1.7 Million Haircut’ which follows Tom breaking down the stigma around men discussing their mental health.
Tom meets with influential leaders to expose the stark reality the impact suicide has on communities, healthcare services and the economy. The film also features Paul, Tom’s friend, whose life was saved through these conversations. It’s an inspiring watch and shows just how influential our industry can be.