Former Big Brother winner urges students to never throw in the towel

Former Big Brother winner Anthony Hutton has visited a local college as part of his mission to raise mental health awareness among young men.

Anthony’s new project, ‘Never Throw In The Towel’, aims to raise awareness of the dangers men face in not talking about issues they may be encountering. The project targets the North East’s record as the UK’s male suicide capital.

The project’s name was inspired by advice he received from his late grandmother. When Anthony shares his story at events he is speaking from personal experience. The former reality TV star won Big Brother in 2005 at the age of 23. With the winnings and a magazine deal he made £250,000 overnight.

However, his fame and fortune was short-lived and after succumbing to drink and drugs he fell into a dangerous spiral.

Anthony’s session at Bishop Auckland College was attended by around 60 staff and students from curriculum areas including sport, criminology and barbering.

So for me the barber chair might be the best place for someone to open up and talk naturally, and that’s what I’ve found being a barber.

Today Anthony is a professional barber with his own successful business. The idea for the project grew from his salon where clients confided in him about their own mental health issues.

Andrew Dixon, Head of Sport & Teaching and Learning, who organised the event, went to college and played football with Anthony when they were teenagers.

He said: “We’re very grateful for Anthony coming in today and talking to our students – he had a huge impact. Colleges are acutely aware of the threat of poor mental health to all young people, and particularly young men.

“Anthony carries an extremely powerful message and his own experience battling depression really resonates. We all wish him luck with his crusade to raise awareness and get young men talking about their mental health.”

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