Cause area: Improving human wellbeing
StrongMinds is scaling effective depression treatment in sub-Saharan Africa, leveraging existing government and NGO infrastructure to bring proven therapy to its patients’ communities.
The World Health Organization estimates that 280 million people globally are living with depressive disorders. For African women — who are affected at approximately 1.5 times the rate of men — depression is a leading cause of disability. Yet, due to the lack of investment in mental health services, approximately 85% of people in low-income countries receive no treatment.
StrongMinds provides free, group talk therapy to low-income women and adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa. It scales its reach through peer-to-peer therapy, teletherapy, public education, and partnerships — treating tens of thousands of individuals each year.
Those who complete StrongMinds therapy have achieved clinically significant reductions in depression symptoms. More than 80% of clients are depression-free at the conclusion of treatment.
When a woman recovers from depression, her family starts to thrive. She becomes more economically productive, while her children eat more regular meals and go to school more often. For every woman who restores her mental health, an entire household benefits.
Women who complete StrongMinds therapy groups often remain in touch after the conclusion of treatment. Many report that they now have someone to turn to for social and emotional support. They are also better able to recognise the signs of depression in themselves and others and deploy the emotional tools StrongMinds taught them to prevent future depressive episodes.
StrongMinds meets our criteria to be a top-rated charity because one of our trusted evaluators, Founders Pledge, has recommended them to us. Founders Pledge published a report on mental health highlighting StrongMinds's work in 2019, and have continued to monitor and review them since. (Our trusted evaluators are charitable giving experts who focus on impact — their research into the best charities means your donations can do even more good. Learn more about charity evaluators we trust and why.)
Happier Lives Institute has also reported on StrongMinds’ cost-effectiveness in StrongMinds: cost-effectiveness analysis and Happiness for the whole family. In addition, StrongMinds’ own research shows the results of its programmes.
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