Marie Claire Hair Awards judge Neil Moodie speaks out about men’s mental health

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  • Celebrity hairstylist Neil Moodie explores male suicide and mental health in his new podcast

    To kick off men’s mental health month, industry-renowned hairstylist, close friend of Marie Claire and mental health advocate Neil Moodie explores topics of male suicide in his exclusive video podcast

    Airing for the first time today, ‘Minding the Gap – Male Suicide Awareness’ is a honest and candid conversation that covers topics from media messaging to accessing mental health services. Moodie is joined by Tom Chapman, award-winning charity founder and barber, and model and TV presenter, Rosie Tapner. Having experienced or lost people to suicide, the three are dedicated to male suicide prevention. 

    neil moodie male mental health

    Image courtesy of Neil Moodie

    Moodie first spoke out about mental health and suicide in 2019 and has continued to throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. The last 18 months have not only highlighted but also exacerbated some of the biggest issues with the UK’s mental health service. 

    In fact, government reports show that 1 in 5 women report symptoms of common mental health issues whereas 1 in 8 men do the same. That was before the pandemic caused a drop in the number of people self-reporting, meaning more men are experiencing challenges but are less likely than ever to let someone know. 

    “I wanted to deliver something that addressed this vital topic. We’re entering into a new era and it’s so important that we do so with an open mind to help destigmatize mental health and suicide amongst men,” explains Neil, who has been exposed to his own mental health problems and those of his close family. 

    Watch the video podcast: 

    For the first installment of the new season of Moodie’s podcast ‘In bed with Neil Moodie’, the podcast shines a particular light on the disproportionate effect of mental health issues on men living in smaller towns and rural areas. Men are more likely to report lower levels of life satisfaction in these areas because of the lack of mental health services as well as the tendency to treat mental health topics as taboo at work. 

    According to research from Ironmongerydirect – which collaborated with the charity MIND – male construction workers are 3 x more likely to die from suicide than the average UK man. In addition, half of UK tradespeople experience mental health illnesses, as a result of their work.

    This is an area of mental health that particularly affects Tom Chapman, who set up the charity The Lions Barber Collective. The non-profit barber shops provide a safe space for people to have their haircut as well as open up about their mental health. All of the barbers have undergone training in how to spot ill mental health and are well placed to help anyone that sits in their salon chair. 

    Chapman says: “Working in agriculture is very high pressure – there’s not many industries where you plant a million pounds into the soil and hope that you make a living… So agriculture is problematic with suicide, but it is being talked about and we are making steps in the right direction, equipping workers with skills to overcome mental health challenges.”

    In 2019, the ONS reported that male suicide in England and Wales was at it’s highest for two decades and male suicides accounted for around three-quarters of all suicide related deaths that year. Although the number of male suicides did decrease in 2020 thanks to more and more people speaking out on the topic, it still remains a huge problem. 

    Moodie’s podcast provides the perfect touchpoint for those affected by male mental health problems and the people around them. As well as sharing personal advice, the guests signpost to the most effective ways to get help. This men’s mental health month, why not tune in and learn more about how we can all help the men around us to get talking about their mental health?

    Minding the Gap – Male Suicide Awareness is now available to stream on YouTube. Listeners can also hear more from Neil and his guests via Neil’s Podcast ‘In bed with Neil Moodie’, across Apple podcasts, Soundcloud and Podtail. 

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