A lay health worker or community ‘Grandmother’ conducting a problem solving therapy session with a patient on the Friendship Bench.Image Credit: Grand Challenges Canada / ZAPP
In Zimbabwe study, Friendship Bench therapy reduces prevalence of depression to <14%, compared to 50% in control group; First at-scale model of community mental health care in Africa has diagnosed & treated over 27,500 people for common mental disorders
Their offices are simple wooden seats, called Friendship Benches, located in the grounds of health clinics around Harare and other major cities in Zimbabwe.
The practitioners are lay health workers known as community “Grandmothers,” trained to listen to and support patients living with anxiety, depression and other common mental disorders.
But the impact, measured in a ground-breaking study, shows that this innovative approach holds the potential to significantly improve the lives of millions of people with moderate and severe mental health problems in countries where …
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