Football and mental health have been the topic of conversation in one North East barber shop during Movember. Newcastle United Foundation and The Lions Barber Collective have teamed up this November to promote the benefits of talking about mental health.
Movember is an annual event involving, among other activities, the growing of moustaches to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as suicide prevention, mental health, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Suicide is the biggest killer of men aged 20-49 across England and Wales, and in 2017 the North East had the highest number of suicides in the UK*.
The Lions Barber Collective is an international collection of barbers who work together to help raise awareness of suicide prevention. Its #BarberTalk training equips barbers with the knowledge required to spot signs that somebody may be struggling with mental health issues and empowers them to provide support.
Staff and participants from the Foundation’s #BeAGameChanger campaign got a haircut and talked about their personal experiences at one Lions Barber Collective studio in Gateshead. While in the chair they chatted to Sam Wall from Hidden Heights Creative Studio who is a global ambassador for the Collective.
Newcastle United Foundation’s #BeAGameChanger campaign launched in February with the aim of getting more Newcastle United fans talking about mental health. The campaign has reached millions through social media, and over 700 hundred men have engaged in wellbeing activities organised by the charity held on Tyneside.
Newcastle United Foundation is holding several events throughout the month to raise awareness of mental health. On 19 November, a special event will be held at St James’ Park for men with Bruce Durham from Huddle Culture leading a session on some easy to understand and apply information across Mental Health and Wellbeing. Later in the month, a #BeAGameChanger fundraising event will be held on 28 November at NINE Sports Bar, with live music, buffet, guest speakers and a chance to win signed Newcastle United merchandise.
Ashley Lowe, Health and Wellbeing Manager at Newcastle United Foundation said: “The Lions Barber Collective does amazing work with barbers in the North East, and across the world, and it’s great to team up with them and promote the benefits of talking about mental health.
“Suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged between 20 and 49 and the North East has one of the highest rates of suicide. Through this collaboration and our #BeAGameChanger campaign we are trying to reach as many Newcastle United Fans and men across the North East as we can and encourage them to open up about mental health.”
The Lions Barber Collective was set up in 2015 by British barber Tom Chapman and operates throughout the UK and further afield. The charity aims to turn barbershops into safe spaces for men to start conversations about mental health. The Collective teaches barbers to ‘recognise, talk, listen and advise’ clients and works with the Samaritans charity – signposting the services they offer to clients in need.
The Lions Barber Collective founder, Tom Chapman, added: “Every opportunity we have to work with others to raise awareness for mental wellbeing and suicide prevention is a privilege and may make the difference to someone meaning another life saved. To think a huge, historic football club like NUFC wants to help with the fight against mental ill health is incredible. They have such a huge reach and influence and together we will reach so many.
“Having our Lions Ambassador, Sam Wall help out with such an amazing project is fantastic and we are incredibly proud to have him as part of the pride. We are always looking for more barbers to join the pride, our BarberTalk Lite is free on our website now.”
To find out more, visit www.nufoundation.org.uk/beagamechanger, or follow #BeAGameChanger on social media.
To find out more about The Lions Barber Collective visit www.thelionsbarbercollective.com.