Tom, who set up the collective in 2015 following the loss of a close friend to suicide, has become a leading figure in the male mental health arena, and has now set up a training scheme to arm barbers with the knowledge of how to spot clients suffering with their mental health and be the support that they need.
Tom hopes to be able to spread the message that no matter who you are, or what you are going through, there is always a way out.
He says, “Suicide is still the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. Talking to hundreds of people about their mental health through the Lion’s Barber Collective has made me realise how easy it can be to forget to take care of our mental health, which is why I’ve come up with a few really quick and easy tips that everyone can try to support their own mental state”.
Tom’s Top Tips
Try to limit your social media consumption – remember people generally use social media as a ‘highlights reel’ and this can make you feel like everyone else is more happy or successful than you which is not true.
Cleanse your life of those who are negative or upset you – block them on social media and try to spend time with those you admire or consider successful.
Try not to let others’ actions affect you – remember that you cannot control others’ thoughts and feelings. Just as they cannot control yours! You may think that someone is angry or upset with you but perhaps they are behaving that way because they have their own stuff going on.
Find a support network – surround yourself with those you trust and those who are willing to listen to you without judgement and do the same for them.
Set some goals, even if they are small – goals will give you something positive to aim for and focus on. There’s no feeling like achieving what you set out to do and looking back at the end of the year at your growth, success and achievement.
Try meditation/mindfulness – we spend a lot of time regretting the past and worrying about the future, and not enough time in the present. Take some time out from the world each day. Even if meditation is not your thing, that may be just sitting on a park bench taking in what’s around you.
Learn to desire what you have already – we live in a materialistic world where we crave the new most up to date of everything, and are always after the next best thing. Take a look around you and appreciate what you already have.
Take some time for you – do whatever you love to do, watching a movie or playing sport, whatever it may be try and take some time out each day for you.