A BLACK Country hairdresser is hoping to dispel the stigma of mental health when she hosts a night of fundraising in Quarry Bank.

Vicky Smith, who has suffered from depression and anxiety, wants the event to increase the awareness around mental health, while raising funds for local charity Dudley Mind.

She said: “Mental health carries a massive stigma in my opinion. It isn’t a visible illness so therefore I find that there’s a lot of ignorance surrounding it.

“I feel that unless it’s affected you in some way then people don’t want to try to understand it.

“Mental health is a massive umbrella consisting of many illnesses – from OCD, to depression, anxiety, self-harming and so on. Not one person’s situation is the same, we are all individuals which means we all deal with things in different ways.

“I’m now at a point where I am comfortable to talk about my situation and share my story.

“I am a self-employed hairdresser, so I see and talk to a lot of people, and the sad situation is, I never realised how many people suffer alone.

“I was lucky I had the support of family and friends but some people have nobody.

“It’s not fair and it’s not right.”

The event will take place at Quarry Bank Conservative Club from 6pm on Friday, September 7, including a disco, buffet, raffle, tombola and much more.

There are also a range of prizes to be won.

Vicky added: “If even one person that night says that I’ve helped them, then this will all be worthwhile.

“I know what I can do is only a drop in the ocean, but all those little drops keeps the ocean going.

“I feel everybody in life will experience mental health, if not themselves then maybe someone they know, so together let’s get the message out there that ‘it’s ok not to be ok’, and nobody is alone.”

Tickets cost £5 for adults and £2.50 for children, while under threes get in for free, and they can be bought from Vicky by calling 06583 819958, Sandra Vaughan on 07450 351423, or from Food for Thought on 01384 910246.

Vicky is also looking for raffle prizes – no matter how big or small – as well as local businesses to help raise as much money as possible for Dudley Mind.

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