A fun and unique approach to mental health awareness last month has raised more than $41,000 for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Simcoe County branch. The March Mullet campaign, which encourages participants to cut their hair into a mullet for March, aims to generate awareness on the topic of mental health. Each participant creates a personalized fundraising page and selects an individual fundraising goal.
Former Barrie Colts left wing Dan Michaelsky started the campaign last year in Barrie when he proposed growing a mullet for charity to a few friends and asked for their support. Since then, the campaign has grown nationally, with participants across Canada.
Barrie Colts players Michael Webster, Jake Dotchin, Zach Hall, Brendan Lemieux, Liam Maaskant and Justin Scott participated in the campaign this year as well. The team hosted the 2015 March Mullet cheque presentation earlier this month.
“With the Colts, our owner Howie Campbell encourages us to get out and help in the community,” Webster told CBC recently. “For me, I’ve been touched by mental illness in three aspects: I’ve seen it touch relatives; I’ve had teammates and friends affected when they couldn’t play after injuries like a concussion; I’ve seen friends and teammates deal with depression.”
The Barrie Colts are also part of the Talk Today program, a partnership between CMHA Ontario and the OHL which aims to raise awareness about suicide and promote the mental health of young athletes.
For more information on the March Mullet campaign, visit marchmullet.org.