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JN Bentley welcomes men’s mental health speaker to site

[Trigger warning: suicide]

 

JN Bentley was delighted to welcome Anthony Hutton to site at Howdon Hub, in Tyne and Wear, where he gave a powerful presentation (and free haircuts!) to teams, all about men's mental health.

 

After winning reality show Big Brother back in 2005, Anthony’s extreme taste of fame led him to turn to drink, drugs, and eventually contemplating suicide. Fast forward almost 20 years, Anthony is now a well-known barber based in the North East – a job that made him realise how valuable the one-on-one chats and friendships he had built with his clients were, leading to him setting up his project - 'Never Throw in the Towel – Keep on Living'.

 

The initiative aims to support men's mental health and prevent suicide, by raising awareness and offering the opportunity to connect with others in a safe, open space and talk to each other. As the North East faces the UK’s highest rates of male suicide, the project targets the region to spotlight the issues that men encounter by not talking about their mental health. The construction industry also faces the same problem.

 

Following his presentation, Anthony then set up his barber chair in our cabins and gave anyone who wanted one a free trim.

 

Speaking afterwards, Anthony said, "The brilliant feedback I received after visiting Howdon gives me such satisfaction that this project and concept of speaking with the barber chair is a good initiative.

 

"It was also great seeing the JN Bentley staff attend my free weekend mental health retreat too. The North East and construction are the worst region and occupation in the UK for suicide. This is a huge problem that needs to be tackled."


JN Bentley operations manager, Andrew Shield, commented, "Anthony had a natural rapport with everyone on site and people really resonated with his personal journey and natural charisma. The feedback from the entire team was excellent and even the most sceptical of our team were positive about the message and the way it was delivered.”

 

Sophie Naylor, wellbeing advisor at JN Bentley, added, "Given the startling statistics around mental health in the construction industry, supporting employee wellbeing is a key focus for us and we are delighted to see the positive impact the session with Anthony has had.

 

"We know there isn't a single solution or approach that will work for everyone so our network of Wellbeing Champions are empowered to help shape and support our initiatives. The feedback and insights they provide mean we can encourage others to begin or continue the conversation."


If you are based in the North East and struggling with your mental health, you can view local support services here.


Anthony giving a JN Bentley colleague a haircut

Anthony delivering his presentation

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