The team at Patrick Gildea Hairdressing are no strangers to self-development and educational training, however they took it one step further last week and participated in the SafeTALK alertness training programme that prepares anyone over the age of 15 to become a suicide- alert helper. The team at Patrick Gildea Hairdressing are the first hairdressers in the country to undertake such training and given their profession and close contact with the public it’s training that will no doubt prove invaluable.
Patrick said when he was first introduced to SafeTALK, he instantly knew it was something that he would like his team to take part in. Hairdressers, Barmen and Taxi drivers have been named as key personnel for this type of training given their close contact with the public. SafeTALK is a half day training programme that prepares participants to identify persons with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first aid resources. These specific skills are called suicide alertness and are taught with the expectation that the person learning them will use them to help reduce suicide risk in their communities. Most people with thoughts of suicide don’t truly want to die, but are struggling with the pain in their lives. Through their words and actions, they invite help to stay alive. SafeTALK-trained helpers can recognize these invitations and take action by connecting them with life-saving intervention resources, such as caregivers trained in ASIST.
Commenting on the training Patrick said “The training was delivered by Kevin Mills and Tommy Ronaghan here in the salon to an exceptionally high standard. I would urge all hairdressers to take part in this training. Feedback from the whole team is very positive, they feel like they can be more open in discussing issues such as suicide and also feel that they have gained the necessary tools to recognize invitations and sign post individuals if required”.
For more information on SafeTALK see https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/4/mental-health-services/nosp/training/