Annabel Bowles

Tropic Now journalist

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‘Mulleted superheroes’ raise over $14k for mental health

A team of local doctors and psychologists are growing a majestic set of mullets. We promise it’s for a good cause. 

Their luscious locks have raised over $14,000 in just nine days for the Black Dog Institute’s Mullets For Mental Health.

Dr Jan-Paul Kwasik, Dr Sean Mayne, Dr Mike Tervit, Dr Ajay Macharouthu and Luke Frazer – the heads behind MMGA (Make Mullets Great Again) – are encouraging the Cairns community to get around the cause. 

“Our mullet fundraising will help us drive real change through groundbreaking research into the early detection, prevention and treatment of common mental health disorders,” said Dr Tervit.

“The magnificence of our mullets is in your hands – mo' money, mo' mullet.”

Black Dog Institute research shows one in five will experience symptoms of mental illness in any given year. In Australia that’s around 5 million people – roughly 60% of which won’t seek help. 

This results in suicide being the leading cause of death among Australians aged 15 to 44. 

Psychiatrist Dr Kwasik believes that people are gradually learning to ask for help with their mental health.

“My mullet haircut has broken the ice and led into conversations about the fundraiser, mental health and stigma,” said Dr Kwasik.

“Events like Mullets for Mental Health are helping us talk about mental health, reduce stigma and raise funds for research.

“People are becoming more comfortable talking about things like anxiety and depression. It’s also okay to talk about your diagnosis and treatments with family and friends.”

Thanks to the community's support and crafty cutters Outback Barbers, MMGA have already transitioned from Stage 1 'Business' Mullet to Stage 2 ‘Party’ Mullet with a shaved pattern into the side.

The next mullet milestone will be Stage 3 ‘Majestic’. We look forward to seeing what that entails. 

Donations to Mullets For Mental Health are open until the end of September. 

You can donate to the Cairns crew’s hairy venture here.

If you have any mental health concerns, you can talk to your doctor or phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or 1300 MH CALL (1300 642255).