The Lions Barber Collective charity and the City of London Corporation teamed up to host a highly successful event on Monday October 7 to celebrate the emerging role of barbers in mental health and suicide prevention.
The Barber-Surgeons’ Hall event connected national leaders from the City of London, business, health, care, politics, charities and the military with the inspirational work of the Lions Barber Collective – who are working hard to educate barbers in how to spot the symptoms of mental health and depression, whilst encouraging men to talk to their barbers (and each other) about their issues.
It was organised ahead of World Mental Health Day (which this year took place on Thursday October 10), and witnessed hair cut at the Barber-Surgeons’ Hall in Monkwell Square for the first time in centuries.
Lions Barber Collective founder Tom Chapman was delighted with how the day went, he said: “There was a huge build-up to the event and I was incredibly busy so it wasn’t until the day when I was stood there in the Barber-Surgeons Hall about to do the first hair cut ever on the 700-year-old site under Holbein’s Henry VIII portrait that I realised the importance of what we had achieved.
“We had an audience which consisted of some of the most influential people in the hair industry, the City of London itself, the NHS and even parliament. To see their faces as we told our story and gain the reaction face-to-face when we left the stage was incredible and something I will never forget.”
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.”