Watch: Meet the Bay of Plenty barber trying to get men to open up about mental health

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1 NEWS

In a bid to get men to open up about mental health a Bay of Plenty barber is travelling the country offering free haircuts and the chance to get things off their chest.

Sam Dowdall is travelling the country offering free haircuts for men to get things off their chest.
Source: 1 NEWS

Sam Dowdall from Barter Barber says he's doing his bit for men's health because New Zealand has the largest problem in the OECD with suicide.

"In my time working as a barber, I've seen a lot of frustration in men, a lot of not being able to communicate," Mr Dowdall told 1 NEWS.

Mr Dowdall says people tend to open up to him while in the barber's chair.

"People tell you everything and that stays in the chair, that stays between us. I hear about love and life and family, to sexuality, guilt, mostly… the biggest one is frustration," he said.

Statistics say three out of four suicides in this country are men, which equates to almost 500 in the last year alone.

"I believe, and I really believe, that we're going to make some changes to how men communicate in New Zealand and so far I think we already have," Mr Dowdall said.

If you can't get along to see Mr Dowdall, you can always text or phone 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor.

If you need help or someone to talk with, you can also contact one of the following agencies:

Lifeline – 0800 543 354
Youthline - 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz
Samaritans – 0800 726 666
Healthline – 0800 611 116
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 or free text 4202 or www.depression.org.nz
The Lowdown: A website to help young New Zealanders recognise and understand depression or anxiety. www.thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626
SPARX.org.nz – Online e-therapy tool provided by the University of Auckland that helps young people learn skills to deal with feeling down, depressed or stressed
OUTLine NZ – 0800 688 5463 for support related to sexual orientation or gender identity

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