A Canterbury barber who has battled with anxiety and depression will use his experience and his craft to help others.
When clients sit in Charlie Knox’s barber chair they can expect more than just a slick haircut.
They’ll also find a safe place to open up and talk about whatever might be going on in their life.
“I feel like we’ve got the platform as barbers to do it, sometimes we double up as counsellors for our clients,” the Rangiora barber said.
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This weekend, Knox will offer his services for 24 hours straight.
The “cutathon” at his workplace, Tom’s Chop Shop, is a bid to raise money and awareness for men’s mental health.
“It’s about conversation, I want us to talk and be open about our experiences.”
Knox knew the importance of talking about mental health firsthand. He hoped sharing his own experience would help others.
The 32-year-old had battled with anxiety and depression since his early 20s.
Now about to become a dad, Knox felt he needed to be strong for his family and work on his mental health.
He had also watched family and friends face their own battles.
“I thought, ‘how can I expect help from them without doing my bit to help others’.”
The marathon effort will start at 9am on Saturday.
Knox will take clients throughout the day and night for those who fancy a fade, a chat and an opportunity to help the cause.
He is nearly fully booked.
“The door is open to anyone. If anyone is out there having a hard time, even if you’re not having a cut, you’re more than welcome to come in and chat/”
All proceeds will go to the Canterbury Men’s Centre, a charity that supports men and their mental health.
The centre’s acting general manager, Noeline Allan, said Knox’s 24-hour effort was “hugely appreciated”.
“We’re just so grateful for Charlie’s effort it’s an amazing way to support men.”
Knox would donate a percentage of his wage from the day. Sponsors would also contribute $10 for every hour of cutting, and donations could be made on a Givealittle page. He hoped to raise $5000 by the end of the weekend.
Where to get help
- 1737, Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor.
- Mental Health Foundation 09 623 4812, click here to access its free resource and information service.
- thelowdown.co.nz Web chat, email chat or free text 5626
- If it is an emergency, click here to find the number for your local crisis assessment team.
- In a life-threatening situation, call 111.