NGO advocates mental healthcare for women

A non-profit organisation, Bluemind Foundation, has called for funding and care for the mental health of women.

A statement signed by the organisation, chaired by Marie-Alix de Putter, said it received funding of €227,396 from the Fund for Innovation in Development.

It added that its ‘Heal by Hair’ programme, which is aimed at improving the mental health and well-being of African women from the chairs of their hairdressers, would help two million women in 20 cities in Africa.

The statement read in part, ‘‘Heal by Hair was born from a simple and audacious idea, hairdressing salons are key places of sociability in Africa where women relax and confide in one another. 67 per cent of women declared confiding to their hairdressers according to the study led by the Bluemind Foundation in seven countries. Therefore, they are the ideal places to detect people with psychological distress and help them realise that they need to receive proper care.

‘‘Based on cutting-edge research adapted to local contexts and confirmed by field data, ‘Heal by Hair’ is a three-day training cycle. The content includes existing recommendations for mental health management and active listening. During the training, the hairdressers participate in role-playing to put themselves in a real-world situation and learn how to best interact with their clients. Ultimately, the training session aims at making professional hairdressers the first link in Africa’s mental health care chain.’’

It added that ‘Heal by Hair’ would train 1,000 hairdressers and support at least two million women in Africa by 2035.

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