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LOMÉ, DOUALA and PARIS, 03 May 2022 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Heal by Hair, Bluemind Foundation’s signature program, has been named « Most innovative mental health program in Africa and female empowerment excellence award 2022» by Acquisition International. The first movement of mental health hairdressers’ ambassadors in Africa, Heal by Hair, is a short and innovative training program of three (3) days, aiming to make professional hairdressers the first step in mental health care chain in Africa. In addition, Heal by Hair also gives back to women their power to act on their mental health by providing them the keys and social incentives to develop their enterprises.

Heal by Hair’s inaugural session was held in Abidjan from April 4 to 6, 2022. Following an open call with almost 250 applications and a selection of 30 hairdressers, 22 laureates from the popular municipalities of Abobo, Cocody, and Yopougon have been certified. They have been provided training in active listening, basics of mental health, psychological first aid, and leadership by experts and psychiatrists. Since then, they became the first hairdressers’ ambassadors in mental health on the African Continent. They can detect the first signs of emotional distress, listen carefully to their clients, and refer to mental health professionals. With the ultimate goal to contribute to improving African women’s mental health and wellbeing through the hairdressers’ chair, one client at a time, Heal by Hair strives to reach at least 5 million women in Africa by 2035.

“This double award is a recognition that honors and obliges us. By testifying the high-impact social innovation brought by the Bluemind Foundation and Heal by Hair in the field of mental health in Africa, it rewards our daily collective efforts to improve the mental health, well-being, and empowerment of African women. We are determined to continue our commitment with humility and responsibility”, states MarieAlix de Putter, Founder and President of the Bluemind Foundation.

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