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It escalated with a Mullet

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Introduction

On the 16th of July 2021 I had a harebrained idea. Move over moustaches; the mullets are here to break down barriers and promote Mental Health.

I made a goal to raise $5,000 for the Black Dog Institute’s annual “Mullets for Mental Health” fundraising campaign, but I gave myself the commitment that if …. IF …. I crack $2,000 that I would be celebrating by cutting my hair into a stylish mullet. All of the funds go to support the Black Dog Institute – they are pioneers in the research of treatment and prevention of a wide variety of mental health disorders.

It took four days to crack the $2k milestone.

Sadly, every day 9 Australians die by suicide. And it is through people like you supporting our work to help change this, through the funds you’re raising and the awareness you’re bringing to mental health. Together, we can make a difference!

Sydney went into another lockdown, I was alone, and yet – the connections made through the fundraiser filled me with so much joy. I started my fundraiser in July … the actual “Mullets for Mental Health” month wasn’t until SEPTEMBER. So I went on a campaign to share as much mental health resources, stats and support as I could.

Stats like, that in 2020, 75% of young people reported that their mental health deteriorated because of COVID.

And weirdly, I’m … was not surprised. It’s part of the reason I decided to back Mullets for Mental Health: trying to get the word out that support is out there and available, regardless of what level of restrictions people were facing.

ViVA LE MULLET

I set the date of the 20th of August to cut my hair, and auctioned off some art commissions and the five shitty scissors I could find at home to cut my hair with. Sydney was in complete lockdown, so I relied on zoom and phone calls with friends to stay sane and keep spreading the good word and support available with the Black Dog. To start a conversation. Because 1 in 5 Australians experience a mental illness. And 60% of those people won’t seek help.

The lockdown was isolation was eased when my sister jumped on board with the fundraiser, despite living over 1000km away.

Royal Australian Navy Band Tasmania’s Leading Seaman Musician Miriam, cut off and donated her braid to Sustainable Salons a social enterprise that works with organisations like the Australia Alopecia Areata Foundation Inc. and Variety – the Children’s Charity Australia to provide wigs for people experiencing hair loss as a result of illness.

She also fundraised to support her sister’s Mullets for Mental Health campaign for the Black Dog Institute to help tackle mental illness and suicide. “It made sense to donate my hair and fundraise for mental illness when it is such a prevalent health issue, and the Black Dog Institute is there for everyone, in or out of the military.”

https://www.defence.gov.au/news-events/news/2021-08-11/making-cut-charity

Conclusion

On the 20th of August, I live streamed from home, connected with friends around the world and cut my hair into a mullet. We laughed, there was heckling, there was egging on to cut shorter, there were tears when we hit my $5,000 fundraiser goal mid stream.

So during the month September I showed I’m all ears for mental health by rocking a mullet and raising funds for Black Dog Institute. And it escalated. It got unhinged.

We continued on to raise over $7,000 dollars as part of the 2021 Mullets for Mental Health Fundraiser for the Black Dog Institute.

It was an incredible, and yet often hard, couple of months. Not only did the change in hair style rock my mental health for a bit, but the continual conversations about mental health were pretty taxing too. But there are that many resources available, with the Black Dog, that it made it all worth it.

My heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who made a donation, who shared news and resources from the Black Dog Institute.

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