A hairdresser has shared a before and after image of her young client’s matted locks to raise awareness about depression.
The images were posted on Facebook by Kayley Olsson of Iowa on Wednesday and have since gone viral with more than 75,000 shares.
“Today I had one of the hardest experiences with my client who I am keeping anonymous, I had a 16 year girl come in who has been dealing with severe depression for a few years now,” the beginning of Ms Olsson’s post reads.
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“She got to the point where she felt so down and so worthless she couldn’t even brush her hair, she told me she only got up to use the restroom.
“She starts back at school in a few weeks but she has her school pictures today. When she walked in she told us just cut it all off I can’t deal with the pain of combing it out, she called herself worthless for it.
“It honestly broke my heart and we tried everything we could to keep this child’s hair for her! At the end of the day I want this to be a lesson to people.
“MENTAL HEALTH is a thing, it effects people all around the world and of all ages! PARENTS take it serious don’t just push your kids off and tell them to get over something they legitimately can’t. A CHILD should NEVER feel so worthless to not even want to brush their hair”.
Ms Olsson said that after spending two days at the salon, the young girl’s hair was transformed and she was able to walk out smiling.
“After being here 8 hours yesterday and 5 hours today we finally made this beautiful girl smile and feel like she IS worth something!”
“Her last words to me were ‘I will actually smile for my schools pictures today, you made me feel like me again'”.
The post has touched millions of people around the world.
“We need more humans like you that truly care.. although a stranger.. You mean everything. You made a difference. Thank you for being so generous with your time and for being such a wonderful person,” one person wrote.
“Beautiful what you did to try and lift this young lady up. She is beautiful inside n out. Thank you for not being judgmental and putting more awareness out to the public,” commented another.
If you or someone you know needs support, call beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.