Become a Heart to Heart Hairdresser

Grapevine Group and Mackay Women’s Services have partnered to provide a life-saving suicide prevention and DV awareness initiative for the Mackay region.

The Heart to Heart Hairdressers campaign provides free safeTALK suicide prevention training and How to Chat about DV training to our hairdressers and barbers.

We know that just one conversation can change a life. Hairdressers and barbers often have close and long-lasting relationships with their clients and are in an ideal position to benefit from awareness training.

This 4 hour training session teaches the public how to; identify someone at risk of suicide, talk to those experiencing suicidal thoughts, have supportive conversations about domestic violence and know where to direct people to access help.

Why did we decide to team suicide prevention with domestic voilence awareness and focus on women?

While over three out of four dealths are male there are more suicide attempts made by women.
According to hospital data, females are more likely to deliberately injure themselves than males. In the 2009-2010 financial year, 62.4% of those who were hospitalised due to self-harm were female.
(Reference: https://www.lifeinmindaustralia.com.au/about-suicide/suicide-data/suicide-facts-and-stats)

Added to this the likelihood of having suicidal thoughts is 3.5 times greater for women who had experienced domestic violence than those who hadn’t and an Australian study found women visiting GPs who were depressed were 5.8 times more likely to have experienced physical, emotional or sexual abuse than women who were not depressed.
(Reference: https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/how-domestic-violence-affects-women-s-mental-health-20190219-p50yp0.html)

The safeTALK program alerts community members to signs that a person may be considering suicide. It acknowledges that while most people at risk of suicide signal their distress and invite help, these intervention opportunities are often overlooked. Participants learn to recognise when someone may have thoughts of suicide and to respond in ways that link them with further suicide intervention help. It is intended that safeTALK participants will be better prepared to:

  • recognise that invitations to help are often overlooked;
  • move beyond common tendencies to miss, dismiss and avoid suicide; notice and respond to situations in which thoughts of suicide may be present;
  • apply basic TALK steps (Tell, Ask, Listen, and KeepSafe); connect the person with thoughts of
    suicide to suicide first aid help and further community resources. Suicide alert community members are better prepared to become a vital link in connecting persons at risk with further help

This fast-paced training session makes it easier to know what to do and say when someone discloses domestic or family violence ‘at work’.

The engaging and conversational training style inspires high-quality and positive learning within a short timeframe.
You will:

  • Build individual and workplace confidence in talking about DV.
  • Increase specialist knowledge and skills that can be easily remembered and transferred on-the-job.
  • Become familiar with different forms of abuse, individual and system challenges.
  • Encourage non-judgemental and supportive responses.
  • Learn how to provide helpful information and links to available support services.

Presented by the Domestic Violence Resource Service (Mackay and Region) Inc. (DVRS) — a specialist support agency of Mackay Women’s Services.

Help build public awareness for suicide prevention and domestic voilence in your salon by displaying Heart to Heart Hairdressers printed support material. You can call into the Mackay Women’s Centre at 418 Shakespeare Street Mackay now to collect.