Sam Dowdall is a man on a mission - to help other men open up about the sensitive subject of mental health and suicide.
After having four friends take their own lives in the past three years Mr Dowdall thought he had to do something about the issue of men's mental health and, after lots of planning, came up with the concept of The Barter Barber.
Originally from Tauranga, his plan is to visit every town and city in New Zealand in the next two years and he is filming a documentary as he goes.
At the age of 27 he's been cutting hair for 12 years, owned his own businesses and has taken courses in crisis management through Lifeline.
Mr Dowdall will be based at Ants Haines' barber shop on Hinemoa St - My Barber - on Wednesday and Thursday and is trading haircuts for goods, food and services, or just a story or two.
He said he does not want your money, just a donation of goods or services, including dog food for Bo or petrol vouchers for the 1971 Bedford ambulance he uses to tow his mobile barber shop.
"We have a shocking and ever-increasing suicide rate in our men, specifically in rural New Zealand, and something needs to change," he said.
"In my experience barbering overseas, no men I have come across have more trouble expressing themselves than here at home, I find that really troubling," he said.
"Life saving counselling for some men is only found in the barber's chair so we're trading our way around the country using the skills I have learnt over the years as a barber to open conversation with New Zealanders from all walks of life.
"We want to hear your stories."
Mr Haines said was supporting Mr Dowdall as it was a good cause.
"We get all sorts of people in the shop who have all sorts of life stories they want to talk about.
"Having him here will be really interesting and I hope he gets his message across."
Te Runanga o Ngati Pikiao Trust co-ordinates suicide prevention programmes in the region. Trustee Michael Naera applauded Mr Dowdall's initiative.
"It's not new that hairdressers are working with people in mental health when getting a haircut done.
"I know it's been done with ladies in the Pasifika community too.
"Some people just want to talk and hairdressers are really good listeners and people feel comfortable talking to them.
"They can help when people are in distress and can pass numbers and information on to the people they talk to.
"What a great initiative, I wish him all the best," Mr Naera said.
Check out "The Barter Barber" on Facebook or make a donation to his Givealittle page at www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/barterbarber.
Where to get help
- In an emergency: Call 111
- Crisis, Assessment and Treatment Team at Lakes DHB: 0800 166 167
- Lifeline: 0800 543 354
- Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865
- Youthline: 0800 376 633, or text 234 or email@example.com or live chat (7pm to 11pm).
- Kidsline: 0800 543 754
- Whatsup: 0800 942 8787
- Depression helpline: 0800 111 757
- Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155 (weekdays 11am to 5pm)
- NetSafe: 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723)