Prince William Meets The Lions Barber Collective
Prince William visited a barbers in London this week to meet barbers and mental health campaigners the Lions Barber Collective.
William met the barbering group, who have come together to raise awareness of mental health problems for the prevention of suicide, at the Paddington branch of Pall Mall Barbers to discuss men’s mental health projects.
Tom Chapman, founder of the Lions Barber Collective, exclusively told HJ Men:“It was a huge honour – and a bit of a surprise. We had only got confirmation that we were meeting William himself a week before. On the day, he made everyone feel at ease. He was engaged, the conversation was free-flowing and just very normal. He reminded me of how his mother Princess Diana was with people.
Mental health is a subject William is very passionate about and he’s enthusiastic about what the Lions Barber Collective are doing. It’s amazing to witness someone of his calibre and position in society talking about mental health. If the future king says it ok to have problems with your mental health then that’s a huge leap forward.”
Sadly, suicide is still the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. Speaking on the subject of mental health the Duke of Cambridge was reported as saying there was still “a long way to go” in the UK, but that things are “changing”. The Duke said it was important that men feel they have somebody who listens to their concerns, and compared mental health issues with physical illness.
At the meeting, Prince William met and spoke to one of the latest Lions Barber Collective recruits Ken Hermes. The Essex-based barber lost his dad to suicide ten years ago and aims to use his job as a barber to help save lives and get more men to open up and talk about their personal issues.
Ken says: “Losing my dad to suicide at 15 left an empty place in my heart. If only my dad could have spoken to someone about how he felt, maybe he would still be here? I want to help to educate others to spot the signs of need, and start the conversations that changes lives. Working for a large barbering group means that I can pass this education to 100+ barbers and really make a difference in our communities.”
Encouragingly previous research suggests that barbers are in a unique position to help men in their battle with depression. A survey commissioned by the Lions Barber Collective and The Bluebeards Revenge revealed that more than half of the men in Britain now feel more comfortable discussing sensitive mental health issues such as depression with their barbers and hairdressers than their doctors.
Prince William supports a number of mental health charities including the Heads Together initiative. Here’s hoping that his support spreads the word about worthwhile work of The Lions Barber Collective.
Image credit: @tomchapman_hair
Don’t miss the Lions Barber Collective and Tom Chapman on the HJ Men in association wth Wahl stage at HJ Live London on Sunday 24 and Monday 25 February. Tickets are free when you register in advance.