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Barbers in east London are a snip at detecting customers' symptoms of depression

PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 October 2019

Barbers now trained to recognise depression when chatting to customers. Picture: Corporation of London

Barbers now trained to recognise depression when chatting to customers. Picture: Corporation of London

City Corporation

Barbers have a new role in east London in mental health and helping to prevent suicides.

Haircutting demonstration at Barber-Surgeons’ Hall aimed at suicide awareness. Picture: Corporation of LondonHaircutting demonstration at Barber-Surgeons’ Hall aimed at suicide awareness. Picture: Corporation of London

Their Lions Barber Collective charity held a haircutting event with politicians, health and care professionals and the business world showing how to spot the symptoms of depression.

"I hope this leads to a legacy of mental wellbeing in future," barbers' collective founder Tom Chapman said. "I was about to do the first haircut when I realised the importance of what we had achieved."

His barbers' collective was set up after he lost a friend to suicide in 2015. His work as a barber showed how to encourage men to talk openly about issues.

Cut above the rest... helping mental awareness campaign at Barber-Surgeons' Hall event. Picture: Corporation of LondonCut above the rest... helping mental awareness campaign at Barber-Surgeons' Hall event. Picture: Corporation of London

Tom now organises a professional training programme teaching barbers to recognise symptoms of depression and steer customers towards services like the Samaritans.

The haircutting event came out of World Mental Health Day earlier this month with a demonstration at the Barber-Surgeons' Hall in the City aimed at suicide awareness.

More details: The Lions Barbers' Collective

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