Lions Barber Collective Launches Male Suicide Prevention Event at Barber Surgeons Hall in London

by lydiah / last updated October 3, 2019

lions barber collective barber surgeons hall

The Lions Barber Collective charity and the City of London Corporation are teaming up to host an event on Monday October 7 at the historic Barber Surgeons’ Hall, celebrating the emerging role of barbers in mental health and male suicide prevention.

It’s been organised ahead of World Mental Health Day (which this year takes place on Thursday October 10), and will see hair cut at the Barber Surgeons’ Hall in Monkwell Square for the first time in centuries. The theme of World Mental Health Day 2019 is suicide prevention and the organisers are this year running a campaign called ’40 Seconds’ due to the fact that someone dies from suicide every 40 seconds.

The Lions Barber Collective works hard to educate barbers in how to spot the common symptoms of anxiety and depression, as among other types of mental health issues, whilst encouraging men to talk to their barbers (and each other) about their issues.

Set up by British barber, Tom Chapman after losing a friend to suicide in 2015, the Lions Barber Collective is turning barbershops into safe spaces for men, using the opportunity of a regular haircut to start conversations about mental health.

Tom organises a professionally run training programme, which is funded by the City of London Corporation, called BarberTalk, which is teaching barbers to ‘recognise, ask, listen and help’ clients, giving them the confidence and knowledge to be able to help their clients get the help they need from services such as the Samaritans charity.

male suicide prevention

His inspiring work, which started in Torbay, Devon, has now grown internationally and has attracted the support of the Duke of Cambridge via the ‘Heads Together Legacy’ and received the Prime Minister’s Point of Light Award in 2017.

Tom explained the importance of the event: “With the kind permission of the Worshipful Company of Barbers, we have been given the amazing opportunity to hold this historic event at the Barber-Surgeons’ Hall. We will bring together members of parliament, the City of London, the NHS and the hair industry to promote mental wellbeing and the important role that the hair profession plays in saving lives.

Marianne Fredricks, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Health and Wellbeing board, said: “Tragically, suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the country. This initiative is a fantastic approach, bringing the conversation about male suicide to the forefront and helping men open up about their mental health in a safe space.”

The event on October 7 will open at 10am with a brief orientation, leading into the work from Sarah Wollaston MP (Chair of the Parliamentary Health and Social Care Select Committee). This will be followed by a welcome on behalf of the Lord Mayor of the City of London and from the Master of the Worshipful Company of Barbers.

In the afternoon, barbers from the City of London will receive training in BarberTalk by the Lions Barbers Collective. There will also be six top international hair designers offering celebrity haircuts for leaders interested in promoting and supporting their work.

The day will conclude with a drinks reception and time to interact with the Lions to find out more about their mission to end the stigma around male suicide, which is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. In 2014, 74% of all suicide victims in the UK were male.

Tom Chapman and members of the Lions Barber Collective will be appearing on the Modern Barber stage ahead of the even on Saturday at 16:30 at Salon International. Click here to book tickets.

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