A barber in St Ives has shaved his head for a mental health charity in memory of a friend who took his own life.

Elio Videtta chopped his hair off for MIND CPSL Elio Videtta chopped his hair off for MIND CPSL

Elio Videtta, owner of El's Barbershop in St Ives, has raised £1,364 for the Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire MIND (CPSL Mind), after his friend and former client, Carl Malick, took his own life in April last year, aged 28.

Elio said: "Carl was a brilliant man, who had such as positive impact on so many people, including myself. I cannot describe what it means to me to raise money in his honour."

Elio said he was shocked to learn that 84 men take their own life in the UK every week and that suicide is the single biggest cause of death for men under the age of 45 in the UK.

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Elio said: "Although it was important to raise money for CPSL Mind in memory of Carl, we also wanted to raise awareness of suicide and encourage people, especially men to talk more about how they are feeling and to seek professional help if they need it. We have to start looking after our mental health with the same importance as we look after our physical health."

The head shave took place on May 18, with the shop closing for an hour to allow Elio to complete the task.

The hair that has been cut off will be donated to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that provides wigs for children and young people, up to 24 years, who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment or other conditions.

Zoe Doherty, fundraiser for CPSL Mind, said: "We are extremely grateful to the whole team at El's Barbershop for raising so much money for our organisation and for helping to encourage people to talk more openly and directly about suicide.

Left to right: Elio Videtta, Ash Mills, Sylvan Savage, Zoe Doherty (CPSL Mind) Rhys Wilson and Lindsey FieldingLeft to right: Elio Videtta, Ash Mills, Sylvan Savage, Zoe Doherty (CPSL Mind) Rhys Wilson and Lindsey Fielding

"Last year, our sanctuary service received 1,857 visits from people in mental health crisis. With demand for our services remaining high, this donation will help a lot of local people who are struggling with their mental health.

"A huge 'thank you' to Elio, all the team at El's Barbershop and to everyone who supported this fantastic fundraising event."