687. Tom Chapman
Tom Chapman, from Torquay, has formed a pioneering brotherhood of barbers joining together to fight male suicide with the bond that develops between a trusted barber and their client.
Tom’s ‘Lions Barber Collective’ is turning barbershops into safe spaces for men using the opportunity of a regular haircut to start conversations about mental health. The group is having an enormous impact with men who traditional mental health services can struggle to reach.
Tom organises a professionally run training programme, which is teaching barbers to ‘recognise, talk, listen and advise’ clients and works with the suicide prevention charity PAPYRUS – signposting the services they offerto clients in need.
In a personal letter to Tom, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“‘The Lions Barber Collective’ is a brilliantly innovative initiative creating safe, non-judgemental spaces for men to open up about their mental health. By equipping barbers with the skills to have these conversations you are supporting them to use the trusted relationships they have with many of their clients to make a real difference.”
“I am truly taken back by this honour, never did I expect The Lions Barber Collective to be as successful as it has become, nor get this level of recognition. A personal endorsement from the Prime Minister will no doubt help us to move forward, complete more work and raise more awareness than ever before. I cannot thank you enough for this award, I am moved, shocked and honoured. My late Grandad would have been especially proud.”
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