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Musician and Ipswich borough councillor Andi Hopgood targets £2,000 for mental health charities with head shave

PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 June 2015 | UPDATED: 13:28 04 June 2015

Ipswich borough councillor and Musician's Union representative Andi Hopgood performing live

Ipswich borough councillor and Musician's Union representative Andi Hopgood performing live

Archant

A councillor and musician from Ipswich has spoken of her battle with depression, ahead of a campaign to raise money for mental health charities.

Andi Hopgood, an Ipswich borough councillor, representative of the Musician’s Union and local musician, was diagnosed with 
depression when she was 16, and suffered a breakdown when she was 29.

Now, having battled her condition, she is keen to help raise money for mental health causes and break the stigma in talking about mental health.

She said: “Suicide is the biggest killer of under 30s, and yet no-one is talking about suicide or mental health.

“There was a stigma with cancer and calling it the c-word, but now it isn’t like that, and suicide and mental health needs that now.”

Having been open and honest about her own condition, Ms Hopgood is keen to raise awareness in depression, mental health and suicide, and on August 1 on her birthday, will be having her head shaved to raise money for Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) and SANE.

She said: “I thought I am not going to run a marathon but I can cut all my hair off.

“I picked those charities because they are slightly smaller charities but do great work and very specific research. With suicide, 
families go through so much guilt that you don’t get with other deaths.”

The committed fundraiser has so far raised more than £300 for each charity, hoping to raise £1,000 for each, and help people to understand that talking about mental health is important.

“People think you should just get on with it but I have been there myself and I know it’s a really dark place and you can’t see any way out of it. It can take a long time to see that there is a future and you can do the things you want.

“In retrospect from my experience, I feel lucky to be in the place I am now where I am now discharged. I thought I would never get out, which is silly, but at the time that’s all you can see.

“Now it is time we need to talk about it.”

To donate visit justgiving.com/Andihopgood for SOBS, or justgiving.com/Andihoppy for SANE.

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