It’s okay not to be okay – Oxfordshire men urged to talk this World Suicide Prevention Day

Four out of five deaths from suicide in Oxfordshire are men and across the UK someone takes their own life every 120 minutes with three-quarters of them being male.

What’s more, nearly half of all men surveyed by Samaritans said that pandemic restrictions have had a negative impact on their mental health.

That’s why this World Suicide Prevention Day, Oxfordshire County Council is supporting the ‘Real People, Real Stories’ Samaritans campaign, encouraging men to open-up and talk about their worries, and their mental and physical health. By sharing real stories from men who have been through tough times to encourage other men to seek help.

Oxfordshire County Council have joined forces with The Lions Barber Collective a charity that raises awareness for mental wellbeing and suicide prevention amongst men.

The Lions Barber Collective’ will be hosting its first FREE BarberTalk online training session for Oxfordshire barbers and hair professionals on Monday 19 October 10.00am -14:00pm, with a focus on helping them to recognise, ask, listen and help their clients with mental wellbeing.

Now more than ever clients will likely want to share their experiences and BarberTalk training can help hair professionals prepare for those conversations. They are more than just a barber or a hairdresser, but a safe space for someone to feel some support and kindness. This is an opportunity for Oxfordshire hair professionals to make a difference to someone’s life.

Ansaf Azhar, director of public health at Oxfordshire County Council said: “I am pleased we are able to provide this training for barbers and hairdressers. We all have a role to play to reduce suicides across the County.

“The effects of suicide can touch whole communities and the impact on families, friends, colleagues and others can be devastating. People bereaved by suicide can experience mental and physical ill health as a result of their loss, with some going on to experience suicidal thoughts themselves.

“This training will help to create a safe space for men to open-up and talk about their feelings, their worries, their concerns, to somebody who, not only listens, but understands.”

The Lions Barber Collective was commissioned to start delivering the helpful and informal approach before COVID-19, in response to the Oxfordshire Suicide and Self Harm Strategy (2020-24) that focused on an engagement survey for residents and professionals.

More Information

If you need help with issues relating to suicide, please call the Samaritans 116 123

If you are experiencing suicidal feelings or thinking about self-harm and you would like to access support or help, the following partners can help you here.

If you want to read real stories from men who have been through tough times, encouraging other men to seek help here.

How to support someone who feels suicidal, practical suggestions for what you can do and where you can go here.

Those bereaved as the result of a suicide can find help and advice through the Help is at Hand booklet here.

FREE Barbertalk online training now available to hair professionals in Oxfordshire, book here.

Contact Information for The Lions Barber Collective:
Email: media@lionsbarbercollective.com
Tel: Tom Chapman / 07834 599118

Documentary website: www.the1point7millionpoundhaircut.com
Charity website: www.thelionsbarbercollective.com

Samaritans latest statistics report on suicide is available to read here