A NEW training program rolling out across the region will equip local hair, beauty and massage professionals with the skills to recognise signs of domestic violence and elder abuse during their clients’ routine visits.
Up to 40 individuals across the four industries will now have the chance to complete an accredited online training program through the Hairdressers with Hearts organisation thanks to funding from Sunshine Coast Council.
The program received a huge push from the Speak Up Now – Stop Domestic Violence Maleny and Blackall Range group, which originally made the request to council after hosting a successful forum that included a guest speaker from Hairdressers with Hearts.
One of the group’s founders, Val France, said the program consisted of nine short modules and took less than an hour to complete. It outlines ways to pick up on signs and start a conversation.
“Upon completion the trainee receives a certificate of completion, some resources for use in their salon/clinic such as water bottles and aprons, as well as a window sticker. They also receive Queensland-wide informational resources to use for referring clients to services for professional support,” Val said.
“Additionally, the hairdresser receives membership and accreditation through Hairdressers with Hearts and is able to add their name to an online list of accredited hairdressers.
“The Speak Up Now group will also be providing them with information of organisations around the Sunshine Coast who can provide people with more local advice and assistance,” Val said.
Ten local hairdressers, five barbers, one beautician and one massage therapist have registered for the online training with 11 of them already completing it.
Morgan Winter, owner of The Crooked Fringe hairdressing salon in Witta, and Kim Knight, owner of K & S Barbers in Maleny, were the first to complete the training.
Both Morgan and Kim said they now felt comfortable handling difficult conversations with their clients, something Val says has been the case with everyone who has completed the training so far.
“All the hairdressers, barbers and beauticians have told me that over the years they have seen a high number of clients who they believe were victims of either domestic violence or elder abuse,” Val said.
“They know their long-term clients and recognise the changes in them between appointments. They now feel comfortable being able to do something positive and practical to help those clients.
“Therefore, we would like to encourage all other local hairdressers, barbers, beauticians and massage therapists to also register for the online training so they can be in a stronger position to help out any of their clients who may be victims of domestic violence or elder abuse,” Val said.
If you are a local hair, beauty or massage professional and are interested in undertaking the free accredited online training, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.