Waka Hourua

Hair4Life (Youth T.E.A.M. Trust)

Hair4Life (Youth T.E.A.M. Trust)

Hair4Life carried out weekend workshops and leadership training for young people. Its mission statement “ to empower young New Zealanders to take responsibility for their lives, by creating an environment of trust, focus and passion, giving them the opportunity and skills to develop their dreams”. The Trust provides skills and mentoring for young people to deal with life's challenges and maximise their full potential. The trust also advocates for young people and their families during troubled times.

Its Waka Hourua project focused on a less obvious role that hairdressers and barbers can have in the prevention of suicide. Giving hairdressers and barbers who work in predominantly Pasifika communities the tools and resources for dealing with suicide ideation will give them confidence to listen to their clients’ challenges and difficulties.

Hair4Life involved suicide prevention workshops being delivered in hair salons and barber shops, initially in Auckland to establish a suicide prevention capability. These workshops aimed to:

  • empower hairdressers with suicide prevention tools and resources
  • create greater community awareness of suicide prevention
  • build resilience and reduce the risks of suicide by providing clear simple information to people at risk
  • create leaders able to make a difference in trusted and safe environments
  • provide protective factors that increase family and community support
  • provide workplace support for young Pasifika hairdressers.

Pasifika hairdressers and barbers were given the opportunity to receive more intensive suicide prevention training through programmes like ASSIST and SafeTalk. The reasoning was to ensure the sustainability of the programme beyond the workshops and provides a support network within the hairdressing community.

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