UNITED KINGDOM: How one man’s suicide inspired barbers to join forces and help guys with depression

December 11, 2015

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The Huffington Post

After his close friend died by suicide this year, barber Tom Chapman set up the Lions Barber Collective and the BarberTalk program. The Collective is a group of 30 barbers dedicated to raising awareness about male mental health and suicide prevention. Their goal is to encourage men to open up about their problems to their barbers. BarberTalk provides a training program for barbers in conjunction with the charitable organization Papyrus and Pieta House, also known as the Centre for the Prevention of Self-Harm or Suicide. Through the training, barbers learn how to recognize depression and other mental health problems in their clients, listen to them, provide support, and encourage them to get the help they need. “We already have the trust of our clients and we are in a unique position that we must morally take advantage of – so we can help our clients and provide a safe place to talk,” said Chapman. “We know that barbers do not have the time or official training to become [therapists]. But they will be able to be that first step and point people in the right direction.” The BarberTalk program plans to expand across the UK next year and hopefully open salons designated as places where men can feel safe opening up and getting help.

Spark Extra! Learn more about the services provided by Pieta House.