Croydon barbers, hair and beauty professionals can sign up for free training to help customers talk openly and honestly about their feelings and get support.
The council is working with award-winning The Lions Barber Collective to deliver bespoke training to those in the local hair and beauty industry to get clients talking about their mental health.
The free Barber Talk and Hair and Beauty Talk online training has been organised with funding from the south west London Integrated Care System. It takes place on Monday, 28 November, during Movember, the national men’s health awareness campaign this month. Barbers, hair and beauty professionals can sign up here and find out more information about the training.
In England, one person takes their own life every 90 minutes. The training aims to raise awareness of mental wellbeing and suicide prevention, and offer life-saving skills to everyone in the beauty industry.
Those attending will learn to recognise signs of suicidal thoughts, depression, self-harm or poor mental health – how to listen and make clients feel comfortable about sharing their thoughts and feelings and then signpost them to where they can get further help if needed.
The training is part of the council’s ongoing work in Croydon to support the mental health and wellbeing of residents. It also includes more than 700 local people trained as mental health first aiders, giving support to those who they know and signposting them to further help. The council also offers free trauma informed training, providing residents with skills and confidence to help someone who has faced a trauma.
“Croydon barbers, hairdressers and beauty technicians are in a unique position to discuss a range of issues with their customers. Many people welcome the opportunity to open up about their feelings in these environments. We hope this training will support these professionals to have wider conversations around emotional and mental health and wellbeing, and encourage even more customers to speak freely, which can help to reduce distress and save lives.”
Councillor Yvette Hopley, cabinet member for health and adult social care
Tom Chapman, founder of The Lions Barber Collective, said: “We are pleased to be working with Croydon Council to deliver these life-saving skills to local barbers, hair and beauty professionals. This is a thriving business sector in Croydon and through our training, we could potentially reach hundreds of residents in need of support for their mental health. The barbershop is a great, safe place for men to talk, and our Barber Talk and Hair and Beauty Talk training sessions aim to train and give confidence to professionals across the globe to recognise, ask, listen and help those in their chairs.”