Date published: 18 September 2023

Hairdressers, barbers and beauticians in Liverpool are being invited to hone their listening skills to offer an additional service to clients – as mental health supporters.  

Free ‘Hair and Beauty Talk’ training is being offered by the suicide prevention charity Lions Barber Collective in partnership with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, with funding from Liverpool City Council. 

It’s part of a partnership between Mersey Care's Safe from Suicide team and public health specialists, to engage key members of the community in helping to prevent suicides.  Two half-day training sessions are being held on Monday 2 October at the People’s Place in Spellow Lane Liverpool.  

Mersey Care's lead for the Liverpool partnership, Dr Claire Iveson said: “We all have an important role to play in helping to recognise the signs and help prevent suicides.

“The hair and beauty industry see a wide range of people daily and clients often confide in them; I hope that stylists and beauticians who attend the training will feel better equipped and more confident to have conversations about mental health and to signpost clients to services which can support them.” 

Tom Chapman, Lions Barber Collective 18-09-23.JPG

Tom Chapman, founder of the Lions Barber Collective

The Lions Barber Collective founder Tom Chapman said: “Our aim is to create safe places for people to go and talk about the issues they have with the people they trust, breaking the taboo and showing the world that it is ok to be not ok and to share their problems without fear of judgement.” 

Co-director of Oriel Close Barbershop in Liverpool, Neil Palin said: “I’m a mental health first aider and I know barbers and beauticians are great listeners and people open up to them in a way they wouldn’t do with family and friends. 

“It’s important to understand how to respond when people share their thoughts about low mood and depression; choosing the right words can have a massive impact on a person.  

“We’re proud to be a safe place for all. For example, we pride ourselves on being an LGBTQ+ friendly barbershop and many people have chosen to come to us for their first gender-affirming haircut.  

“I would encourage all hairdressers, barbers and other beauty aesthetics professionals to take up the offer of free training, to help recognise when people are suffering – and to know how to respond.” 

Neil Palin, Oriel Close Barber shop 18-09-23.JPG

Neil Palin, co-director of Oriel Close Barbershop, Liverpool 

Mersey Care’s Safe from Suicide Team have been working in partnership with Liverpool City Council Public Health team since December 2022 to deliver suicide prevention projects in Liverpool.  

To book a place on the training on 2 October from 10am to 2pm, go to BarberTalk/Hair&Beauty Talk LIVE-Liverpool - Monday 2nd October 2023 10AM Tickets, Mon 2 Oct 2023 at 10:00 | Eventbrite.

To book on the session from 3pm to 7pm, go to: BarberTalk/Hair&Beauty Talk LIVE-Liverpool - Monday 2nd October 2023 3PM Tickets, Mon 2 Oct 2023 at 15:00 | Eventbrite.