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Hairdressers as psychologists? African NGOs have an idea

Hairdressers as psychologists? African NGOs have an idea

Image source: © canva
Natalia Witulska,
27.11.2023 14:00

There is a mental health crisis around the world and some African NGOs have come up with an idea on how to address the problem. They have turned to hairdressers for help.

The mental health crisis is spreading around the world and there are not enough psychologists and psychiatrists to help those in need. This is why many countries and organisations are looking for ideas to deal with the shortage of therapists. One of them is of African origin, where it was proposed that hairdressers could take over the role of mental health counsellors, The New York Times reports.

Hairdressers as psychologists in Africa

Africa is a continent facing many problems. Economic, security or climate issues are undoubtedly the most important there. However, the region is rarely discussed in the context of mental health, but the World Health Organisation recently reported that Africa is struggling with this problem as well. Data shows that it is Africans who globally choose to take their own lives most frequently.

According to the New York Times, Africa is the region with the least amount of resources allocated to mental health. The number of specialists on the continent is dramatically low. It turns out that there are only five licensed psychiatrists in the eight-million-strong Togo.

Faced with such a major problem with the mental health crisis, international organisations have had to get creative. As we read on polsatnews.pl, training programmes in psychological support for hairdressers have been introduced in West and Central Africa. The courses have already been attended by 150 women.

Why did they decide to train hairdressers? The answer is simple. People love to confide in them, to talk about problems and life. By talking to them about everything, the hairdressers can find out whether or not a customer needs the help of a trained specialist. If the answer is yes, the "mental health ambassador", as such hairdressers are called, will refer the person to a professional.

Source: New York Times, polsatnews.pl

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