An Eastwood barber who has seen his friends battle against mental health issues is taking a stand by donating the takings from his salon to mental health awareness charities.
Ashley Radford runs the Nutz Barbershop, on Mansfield Road, and as part of mental health awareness week he decided to donate a day’s profits in the barbers to support men who are suffering with mental health problems.
Ashley, who says he has seen many of his friends “silently battling with depression”, thinks more awareness needs to be raised about the issue and believes men should be encouraged to talk about their feelings and not “bottle it all up”.
He said he will continue to support mental health awareness week by taking part in the initiative every year - raising more than £250 to support mens mental health charities.
He said: “I’ve got a few close friends who have suffered with mental health problems and it has really affected them.
“It’s a silent killer because there’s a stigma around men that you cannot talk about your emotions, that it makes you weak or that it’s not right to talk about your feelings.
“Because it was mental health awareness week, I wanted to do something to support the initiative, and with running a barbers I thought I would focus mainly on men’s mental health.
“There are so many men who are silently suffering, who are usually good actors and who can keep a straight face, when inside they are going through so much but they are bottling it all up.
“I know it’s already public but we need to make it more aware that it is okay to talk, it’s okay to express your emotions and it’s okay to not be okay.
“If I ever talk to anyone with a mental health issue, I will always say to them that there are so many groups you can go to, so many ways to make yourself better, and all it takes is to make that initial leap.”
Ashley’s salon donated all takings to charity throughout Monday, May 27, also holding a raffle and a tombola to raise additional funds.
Mental health awareness week took place from May 13 to May 19, with the initiative aiming to bring men’s mental health issues to the forefront.
If you are suffering with mental health problems, or know someone who is, you can call the MIND information line on 0300 123 3393.