The hair clippers will be out this Wednesday (28th March 2018) for inspirational Denton Community College teacher, Rakhee Patel who is planning to say ‘farewell’ to her long lavish locks when she bravely succumbs to a ‘Big Shave fundraiser’ at Real Man’s Style, in Denton.
Rakhee explained, “I am shaving my hair off for Mind – the mental health charity – to raise awareness of mental health issues and run a campaign to support these issues for the students in school. I have also created an honesty box where students, who attend her ‘breakfast clubs’ can put anonymous messages about what they fear the most and their inner struggles, where common themes can be addressed”.
Rakhee will also be running a mini campaign in school, focusing on ‘image’; – which will cover the importance of fighting stereotypes and the value of focusing on inner beauty, rather than physical appearance and the human need to conform and ‘follow the crowd’ – conquering the fear of standing alone.
“The support so far has been phenomenal and I am extremely grateful that both students and staff are completely on board here at Denton Community College.”
Throughout the UK and beyond, mental health is still a taboo. Childhood trauma is still a taboo. Sexual abuse is still a taboo. That’s why in this day and age it is imperative that we break this silence. Nobody should feel defined by negative or difficult experiences, and nobody should feel defined by their appearance. Being open and being able to speak out can help to clear some of that fog. A charity like Mind can give people this chance.
It’s often overlooked or downplayed, but mental health is an important part of overall health for children as well as adults. For many adults who have mental disorders, symptoms were present, but often not recognized or addressed, during their childhood and youth. For a young person with symptoms of a mental disorder, the earlier treatment is started, the more effective it can be. Early treatment can help prevent more severe, lasting problems as a child grows up.
“Therefore”, said Rakhee, “I am shaving all my hair off to raise money for Mind, as it supports survivors of all sorts, as well as those struggling with mental health in general.”
“I want to increase awareness around these issues. The social constructs of ‘normality’ can cause people to feel out casted; they can cause people to remain silenced; I dream of a world where this is no longer a barrier to freedom and I wish everyone to be who they want to be without the fear of judgement or rejection.”
As a final word, Rakhee has said that she will be donating the hair towards a charity that makes wigs for cancer patients.