Barbers across the UK have joined forces to launch new initiative #OurDoorIsOpen campaign that aims to inspire men to open up about mental health issues. As hairdressers in England finally reopen their doors to eager customers, barbers are launching the #OurDoorIsOpen campaign in a bid to ensure those whose mental health has been badly affected by lockdown get the support they need.
Did you know?
- Suicide is the biggest killer of men under forty five in the UK yet only 28% of those have had contact with mental health services. NCISH
- More than two-thirds of adults in the UK (69%) report feeling somewhat or very worried about the effect COVID-19 is having on their life. The most common issues affecting wellbeing are worry about the future (63%), feeling stressed or anxious (56%) and feeling bored (49%). Health.org.uk
- The #OurDoorIsOpen campaign sees barbers across the UK come together to welcome back customers back for a cut, and also a chat
- The campaign is being led by The Lions Barber Collective which has trained over 2,500 barbers around the UK and beyond to further support their customers, through it’s clinically backed Barber Talk programme
This is the latest initiative from the Lions Barber Collective which encourages barbers to create safe places for men to open up and offload, and provides training to empower the barbers themselves to listen, recognise the signs of poor mental health and signpost clients to appropriate support services.
After the death of his friend Alex, in 2015 Torquay-based barber Tom Chapman founded the charity ‘The Lions Barber Collective’ to create non-clinical, non-judgmental safe spaces where men feel comfortable to talk about their mental health and can be signposted to support and information.
Recognising that barbers and hair professionals are often a trusted confidant and friendly ear to their customers, Tom collaborated with experts to develop the clinically backed, BarberTalk training programme for hair professionals to support their clients and communities.
The BarberTalk and Hair&BeautyTalk training series aims to arm barbers and hair professionals with the skills to recognise signs of poor mental health in their clients, ask direct questions to facilitate conversation, listen with empathy and no judgement, and help to signpost their clients to the support they need.
Founder and CEO of the Lions Barber Collective, Tom Chapman said: “When we opened up again in July, I cut a friend’s hair, he seemed fine when we had the consultation but once I started cutting his hair he started to cry. I stopped and asked him if there was something he’d like to speak to me about. His reply shocked me. He lived alone and this was the first human contact he had had in months.
“This made me determined to ensure that others in his position have someone they can talk to when barbers reopen in April, while also giving barbers themselves access to tips and training they need to be able to listen and support those who are still struggling.
“A barber can see up to 200 people a week! Although majority of the industry will see about 12 people a day and in a post lockdown world opening hours will be extended to fit in their desperate clients. The hair & beauty industries reach is just phenomenal with an infrastructure that is accessible to most.’
To find out more about the Lions Barber Collective visit here or to donate £5 to help train and support more UK barbers, text THELIONS to 70970.