A Visionary Founder and a Community-Based Solution
Motivated by her own experiences and the lack of mental health resources, Marie-Alix de Putter, President and Founder of the Bluemind Foundation and her team, initiated Heal By Hair to address an urgent issue: the low rate of access to mental health care in Africa. The program captures values of listening and support in everyday salon interactions, a communal space where women traditionally spend time. Already, over 150 hairdressers have been trained in countries like Togo, Ivory Coast, and Cameroon, with plans to expand the training to Ghana, Rwanda, and Senegal.
Impact and Call to Action
The New York Times article highlights the significant impact of Heal By Hair, as demonstrated by the experience of Joseline de Lima in Togo, where mental health services are scarce. The training empowers hairdressers to offer an initial level of psychological support and to refer cases needing professional assistance. As the foundation works towards raising awareness and destigmatizing mental health, it calls upon institutions, donors, and potential partners to support and engage in this movement, to enhance the resilience of African communities. Join us in expanding this life-saving initiative and ensuring that mental health becomes a widely accessible priority. Your commitment can transform the lives of thousands in Africa, making the hair salon a new cornerstone of mental health support.