Mental Health Matters | Lions Barber Collective and Decluttering | April 2019

The latest episode of the Mental Health Matters podcast on Phoenix FM, featuring conversations with Ken Hermes and Louise Simpson.

You can listen to it all here:

Ken Hermes had to deal with grief and trauma from an early age when his father committed suicide when Ken was only 15. Ken talked to me about his process of eventually processing his grief. Ken now use his newly found job as a barber to help save lives and get more men to open up and talk about their personal issues. The latest figures show that suicide is still the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK.

Ken Hermes

Ken explains the heartbreak he went though: “Losing my dad to suicide at 15 left an empty place in my heart. If only my dad could have spoken to someone about how he felt. Maybe he would still be here? I want to help educate others to spot the signs of need, and start the conversations that change lives. Working for a large barbering group means that I can pass this education to 100+ barbers and really make a difference in our communities.”

British barber Tom Chapman set up the Lions Barber Collective mental health awareness and suicide prevention charity back in 2016.

Their aim is to turn barbershops into safe spaces for men using the opportunity of a regular haircut to start conversations about mental health. The group is having an enormous impact with men who traditional mental health services can struggle to reach.

Tom organises a professionally run training programme, which is teaching barbers to ‘recognise, talk, listen and advise’ clients and works with the Samaritans charity – signposting the services they offer to clients in need.

Previous research suggests that barbers are in a very unique position to help men in their battle with depression. A survey commissioned by the Lions Barber Collective and The Bluebeards Revenge male grooming brand revealed that more than half of the men in Britain now feel more comfortable discussing sensitive mental health issues such as depression with their barbers/hairdressers than their doctors.

Ken recently met Prince William at an opening of their latest salon in Paddington, London. William discussed Men’s mental health projects with Ken and acknowledged that suicide is the most acute form of grief.

Find the Lions Barber Collective here:

Also in this episode of Mental Health Matters I recorded an interview with Professional Organiser, Declutter and Life Coach Louise Simpson. We spoke about the issues people have with clutter, some of the extreme cases, how she asses and treats each client differently and steps we can all take to improve our relationship with our material goods.

We talked about how Louise would wish two words were no longer used in the English language- Should and Perfection and why. And how she is often the only person that some clients speak to about the real problems they face- another theme that comes up in the podcast a lot.

Louise Simpson

APDO – Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers if people want to find out more about the industry – and people can use ‘Find an organiser’ to search for organisers in their area.

You can find and get in touch with Louise here:
Her site is
Telephone – 01245 330636
Email –
Instagram – lscoaching_essex
Facebook – LouiseSimpsonCoaching
Twitter – CoachingSimpson

As part of Spring Clearing Week, she is offering discounts off the first session and she offers a free 15 minute phone/video call for all clients to discuss  their requirements so that you can see if she can help further.

The article I referred to in mental health news, continuing the theme of the last episode of the benefits of turning off social media and the tv:

The music played during the episode:

Gerry Rafferty – Get It Right Next Time (Night Owl – 1979)

Mono – Sorrow (Nowhere Now Here – 2019)

Snatam Kaur – Servant Of Peace (Liberation’s Door – 2009)

Snatam Kaur’s upcoming show in London:

Let us know what you think of the show
Twitter: @MHMpodcast

Facebook: Search “Mental Health Matters on Phoenix FM

Helpful Organisations

• Mind 0300 123 3393, text 86463 or

• Samaritans Free on 116 123 , e-mail: or

• SANE 0300 304 7000 (6-11pm every evening) or

• Elefriends (MH Support Forum) –

• Rethink Mental Illness website (for factsheets/blogs etc) :

• YoungMinds
• Parents Helpline: Call: 0808 802 5544 or
(Mon-Fri 9.30am-4pm, free from mobiles & landlines)

• The Silverline – 0800 4 70 80 90 (24 hours, 7 days a week) or

• The CALMzone (Campaign Against Living Miserably)
(5pm-midnight every evening)
• 0808 802 5858 if you’re in London
• or call 0800 58 58 58 Nationwide or

My work:
Healing Zen Massage and


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