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Bluemind Foundation unveils report of cross studies between African women and their hairdressers

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Bluemind Foundation unveils report of cross studies between African women and their hairdressers

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 66 million women suffer from depression and anxiety disorders in Africa, and 85% of them do not have access to treatment. Indeed, only one in five African countries has a mental health policy, and most of them devote less than 1% of their health budget to treating mental disorders. Thus, in societies where mental health is taboo, health care personnel are insufficient, and resources are limited, the importance of finding contextualized solutions appears to be an urgent necessity.

In this context, the Bluemind Foundation unveils the results of cross-sectional studies conducted with 714 women and 148 hairdressers in seven French-speaking African countries (Togo, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Benin, Mali, Senegal, and Guinea) and with the diaspora in France. This Report focuses on women, who are the primary victims of mental health disorders, mainly because of the physical and psychological violence they are exposed to daily. 
The conclusions of the Heal by Hair Cross-Study Report demonstrate the urgent need for collective and concerted action on mental health in Africa. It also appears that by being audacious, creative, and innovative, by considering the uniqueness of African societies, and, above all, by including all stakeholders in the care chain, it is possible to provide an effective, sustainable solution with a strong social impact. 
The field surveys show that hairdressers who are first aiders in mental health are a confidence-building factor for African women: more than 6 out of 10 women trust a hairdresser who is a first aider in mental health, and 91% of hairdressers are ready to be trained.

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If psychiatry has broken into my life and I have an intimate knowledge of it, I also know that there should be no shame or fatality in mental health disorders. They are illnesses like any other: they can be prevented and cured,” says Marie-Alix de Putter, Founder, and President of the Bluemind Foundation. “The facts are there. So are the numbers in the field. Everyone should have access to quality mental health care. But for 66 million women in Africa, this is not the case. We are determined to change this by co-constructing innovative solutions with the first people affected. This is also the perspective behind the ten recommendations of the Heal by Hair Cross-Study Report, which aim to lay the foundations for a collective approach that will bring hope and lasting change.”  

To download the full report “Heal by Hair, Cross-Study Report, Bluemind Foundation, November 2021”: https://bit.ly/32gx9Bj
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Bluemind Foundation.
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