Devon barber's mental health work recognised

Tom Chapman The Lions Barber CollectiveTom Chapman, founder of The Lions Barber Collective, has been awarded the Devon & Cornwall Police Crime Commissioner's Award for his work educating hair professionals in mental health and suicide prevention.

Plymouth based Tom was presented with the award by Alison Hernandez, Devon & Cornwall Police Crime Commissioner, as a thank you from the people of Devon, Cornwall and Isle of Scilly for founding The Lions Barber Collective.

Commenting on presenting Tom Chapman with the award, Alison Hernandez, Devon & Cornwall Police Crime Commissioner, says:

“It's an honour to give thanks and recognition to Tom on behalf of the people of Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. We are so grateful for his creative relentless pursuit to save young men from suicide, one haircut at a time.
“Suicide has a major impact on policing in terms of the level of resources we use to save lives and the personal impact it has on those trying to.

“People like Tom means there's more of a chance we can stop the tragedy of a life being lost and the lives of those affected by dealing with it.”

On receiving the award, Tom Chapman says:

“It was a huge surprise! I had no idea that I was going to receive this award when Alison arrived. To be recognised for the work we are doing is just fantastic. I am so enveloped in what I do with The Lions Barber Collective, it has become my life! This award came on World Suicide Prevention Day, which was also the Lions 5th anniversary, it gave me a real opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved over the past 5 years. Thank you so much!”

The Lions Barber Collective educates barbers on how to spot the symptoms of mental health and depression, whilst encouraging men to talk to their barbers – and each other – about their issues. Tom organises a professionally run training programme called BarberTalk, teaching barbers to ‘recognise, talk, listen and advise' clients and works with the Samaritans charity – signposting the services they offer to clients in need. In 2020, The Lions Barber Collective has teamed up with Health Education England and NHS SW Mental Health Clinical Network to deliver a new online version during 'Lockdown'.