Episode 086

Tom Chapman

Podcast Length: 1hr 11 min | Date Published: 20th April 2021

How Are You Feeling Today?

With the podcast, I consciously strive to have a diverse range of guests, because if I were you, I’d want the full gamut of what the industry at large has to offer.

Some guests are inspiring in their creativity, others are inspiring in their business acumen, others are inspiring in the technology that they bring to the industry and others are people who inspire me, and hopefully you, for their contribution they make through this industry to a higher purpose and ultimately to make the world a better place.

I think that today’s guest comes under that category because he has selflessly taken on a cause that most of us don’t want to talk about, but it needs to be talked about.

Most people, at some point in their life, will say something like, ‘something needs to be done about it … or ‘someone needs to do something about it’… But today’s guest has selflessly put his hand up to be that someone.

His name is Tom Chapman, and amongst other things, he is a hairdresser, barber, educator and founder of “The Lions Barber Collective” which is an international collection of barbers who have come together to help raise awareness for the prevention of suicide.

In today’s podcast we will discuss:

  • The unique position that barbers are in when it comes to raising awareness about suicide and mental health. …We will talk about
  • The Movie…titled ’The £1.7 million haircut’ …and
  • How to ask someone if they are feeling okay, and what to do about it if they aren’t

And lots more! 

In This Episode:

[02:30] Welcome to the show, Tom!

[03:06] Tom shares his background and his interesting and exciting journey.

[05:56] What happened in your life that caused you to take up the task of raising awareness for the prevention of suicide?

[08:33] Tom speaks about being at a friend’s funeral and seeing how many people loved him but didn’t know he was contemplating his own life.

[09:47] Listen as Tom discusses how The Lion Barber Collective for suicide awareness got started.

[12:30 Antony speaks about the image that Tom invoked of the pain and anguish on the people’s faces at the funeral.

[14:48] Tom shares the training they give barbers in how to recognize symptoms of mental health.

[17:11] Tom talks about asking the questions, How has your mental health been? Post pandemic versus pre-pandemic?

[19:14] How have you maintained the rage, sold your business, and made this your life’s crusade?

[22:02] Tom says he has always believed this was the right path for him, and seeing the impact they’ve had on people is the reason he keeps doing it.

[25:44] Is the children’s book you are writing about mental health?

[27:53] “Failure is an event, not a person.”

[28:27] A pivotal moment for him in his career was when he was asked to do barbering education.

[30:49] How did the movie come about, and why is it called’ The £1.7 million haircut‘?

[32:04] Tom talks about the content of the film.

[36:03] Antony discusses what he learned from the movie and the impact Tom had on the audience when he was doing hair and talking about suicide.

[39:39] Tom shares the statistics that men are more likely to commit suicide and why.

[43:03] Tom discusses The Lion Barber Collective charity he created.

[45:54] Tom speaks about the training he developed around mental health.

[49:21] The idea is to bridge the gap in the communities they serve and the available resources.

[51:02] Does the way you look make it easier for people to talk to you about their mental health?

[54:33] Tom believes that getting recognition from celebrities gives them credibility and allows them to get more funds and grants.

[56:04] If you are a barber or hair professional, how do we get involved with your charity?

[57:50] Tom talks about his charity being funded by donations and who donates.

[59:19] Does the fact that you physically touch men while cutting their hair break down their walls and make it easier for them to talk to you?

[1:03:53] Tom discusses how people who are in the throes of mental health issues don’t think about the impact their death will have on their family and friends.

[1:06:57] What should you say to a client in your chair that you feel might be thinking about suicide?

[1:08:57] Tom shares how many countries The Lion Barber Collective is in.

[1:09:47] Thank you for being on the show!

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for joining me this week. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons at the side or bottom of this post.

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Special thanks to Tom for sharing his story with me for this week’s episode.

Until next time!

Links and Resources

Club House @antonywhitaker

Find Tom Chapman

The Lions Barber Collective

The £1.7 Million Haircut

Barber Talk podcast

Barber Talk Lite Training

TED talk

Barber Talk: Taking Pride in Men’s Mental Health

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