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Top barbers aim to cut young suicide across the UK

9th September 2015

Marking World Suicide Prevention Day tomorrow, 10 September, a group of top UK barbers has announced a new initiative, which aims to help national charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide in its work to reduce the number young suicides in the UK.

Suicide is the main cause of death in young people under 35: over 1,600 take their own lives every year. Three quarters of them are young men.

Tom Chapman, whose salon Tom Chapman Hair Design is in Torquay, has formed The Lions Barbers Collective, to raise awareness that there is hope for young men who feel they are not coping with life. The Collective intends to celebrate wellbeing in young men with a ‘look book’ of hairstyles to be released in the coming months.

Men often share confidences with their barbers that they would not discuss with their friends, families or partners. “I feel my clients trust in me to share any problems or troubles they are having in their life and many have done so in the past,” said Tom, founder/spokesperson for the Collective.

“As barbers we are therefore in a unique position to encourage our clients to seek help and indeed help them to find it. For example PAPYRUS HOPELineUK helpline services are confidential and anonymity is respected. Young men – and women - can call, text or email for support and where necessary work with the charity’s trained advisors to form a safe plan.”

Having lost an old friend to suicide, Tom is well aware that it is all too frequently a taboo subject. “The Lions Barbers Collective wants to encourage men to talk about it. Only then will we shatter the stigma, he emphasised.”

Editorial contact for more information and interviews

Rosemary Vaux PAPYRUS press office tel 020 8943 5343 mobile 07792 72 652 41

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Suicide is the biggest killer of young people - male and female - under 35 in the UK. Many thousands more attempt or contemplate suicide, harm themselves or suffer alone, afraid to speak openly about how they are feeling.

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