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StrongMinds

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StrongMinds provides life-changing mental health care to Africa’s poorest women afflicted with depression, a debilitating illness. This organization’s simple, evidence-based, and cost-effective group talk therapy model has been delivered to over 50,000 women since 2014. StrongMinds strives to reach 2 million women by 2025.

About this charity

Hear directly from the StrongMinds team about the impact of group talk therapy:

Approximately 66 million women suffer from depression in Africa and 85% of them have no access to treatment. These women experience depression at rates double that of men, and it negatively impacts all aspects of their life and the lives of their children.

StrongMinds is the only organization scaling a solution to the depression epidemic in Africa. Using its proven and cost-effective model, StrongMinds trains lay community workers to become Mental Health Facilitators that deliver talk therapy groups, based on group interpersonal psychotherapy, to some of Africa’s most vulnerable women.

These Mental Health Facilitators work in communities, educating women about depression, before conducting screening and group enrollment. Women who are depressed are invited to participate in a talk therapy group led by a Mental Health Facilitator, with 10–14 other women. The group will meet weekly for 12 weeks, helping participants to understand their depression triggers, learn strategies for managing depression symptoms, and develop skills to build long-term resilience. Additionally, they form strong social bonds with one another, providing an ongoing source of support and connection to their communities.

At the end of their therapy groups, over 75% of women are depression-free and this is sustained at 72% six months later. But, treating depression is so much more than just treating depression. When a woman is depression-free, she experiences statistically significant reductions in unemployment and increases in her ability to save. Her children eat more regular meals and go to school more often; her whole family flourishes.

Furthermore, two years after completing StrongMinds group talk therapy, 80% of our groups still meet informally, with participants supporting one another to prevent future episodes of depression.

In just four years, StrongMinds has treated over 25,000 women in Uganda and continues to expand its program so that its team can reach 2 million women by 2025.

See the StrongMinds Q2 2019 Report here.

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