Business in the front, party in the back to help others

Mullets for Mental Health is back for 2020.

Last year, Invercargill firefighters started the initiative and now they are backing student Roy Ford with fundraising efforts.

Invercargill Senior Firefighter Waka Miller said that as they had the same idea, they had joined forces for this year but were focused less on raising money than they were on raising awareness.

He said part of a firefighter’s job was to respond to people who had taken their own lives.

"It would really be nice for me and all of us in our job if we can avoid that. Putting out fires is one thing but cutting people down from trees is another.

"It would be a shame if we didn’t do anything to try and stop that.

"We’ve got firefighters in other parts of the country, in Dunedin and Christchurch as well who didn’t stop growing their mullets last year."

Christchurch student Roy Ford (left) has joined Invercargill firefighters for this year’s Mullets...
Christchurch student Roy Ford (left) has joined Invercargill firefighters for this year’s Mullets for Mental Health initiative. PHOTO: LAURA SMITH

Senior Firefighter Ben Coley said it was about stimulating good, positive chat.

Mr Ford had his hair cut at Kaos in Invercargill, where customers could donate and for every mullet cut there, $10 was put towards the initiative.

The 21-year-old Lincoln University student had donned a mullet cut before; this time it was for the I Am Hope charity.

In a week he had raised $500.

We had to support those with mental health problems, he said.

"Everybody knows in New Zealand, we do struggle a bit with that and support is kind of lacking, so anything I can do to help make somebody’s day a bit better I’m happy to do it."

Need help?

Need to talk? 1737, free 24/7 phone and text number
Healthline: 0800 611-116
Lifeline Aotearoa: 0800 543-354
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828-865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Samaritans: 0800 726-666
General mental health inquiries: 0800 443-366
The Depression Helpline: 0800 111-757 
Youthline: 0800 376-633, txt 234 or
What’s Up (for 5-18 year olds; 1pm-11pm): 0800 942-8787
Kidsline (aimed at children up to age 14; 4pm-6pm weekdays):
 0800 54-37-54 (0800 kidsline) 

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