Light and Hope Committee member James Hogg decided to start Mental Health Month yesterday by making himself a beacon for awareness.
Mr Hogg is the son of the late Dr John Hogg, who was the inaugural chairman of the Light and Hope Committee and was keen to carry on his father's legacy by quite literally becoming a beacon for Wollongong's Light and Hope Mental Health Clubhouse.
As the managing director of IOH Injury and Occupational Health, which provides healthcare to injured workers, he said he was aware of the importance of a facility to help those with mental health issues gather together and help each other.
Mr Hogg said mental health was becoming an increasingly recognised issue.
"The growing effect of psycho-social issues in injury is something that we are really focused on," he said.
"We help people move through those issues."
Mr Hogg expected to get some good-natured ribbing from his old university mates but welcomed the opportunity to explain what he was doing and why.
"Everyone knows how, in my day back at university, how crazy my hair was," he said.
"There were great expectations about how it was all going to end up. I did get a message through that said 'are you going to get your nails done as well?"'
Mr Hogg's light new look was created at The Fox and The Hair in Kembla Street, Wollongong, by Robyn David te Velde and salon owner Mia De Vries.
"I will do anything that will bring a bit of attention to mental health and raise the profile of our clubhouse and clubhouses internationally that are doing such great work," he said.
"This is what the whole Highlights for Hope fund-raiser is about. It is raising hope, awareness and funds for the Wollongong clubhouse with the help of the hairdressing industry.
"I agreed to be put in Robyn and Mia's hands and let them do what they want with my hair. The campaign has really taken off with the help of all the local celebrities and identities who have agreed to get involved."