About | StrongMinds



StrongMinds radically expands mental health care for people with depression globally.

Right Flourish

About Us

StrongMinds is a social enterprise founded in 2013 that treats depression in low-income populations by providing group interpersonal therapy (IPT-G), delivered by lay community health workers. StrongMinds is the only organization scaling a cost-effective solution to the depression epidemic. We are radically expanding mental health care for people with depression globally.

Our Story

StrongMinds grew from the conviction of Sean Mayberry, a former diplomat and social marketer, that mental health is often overlooked in international development, with devastating results.

While living and working in Africa for nearly a decade implementing HIV/AIDS and malaria programs, Sean saw firsthand the struggles and lack of access to treatment for those suffering from mental illness and was inspired to find a solution. In 2013, he read about the findings of a randomized controlled trial in Uganda in 2002 that had remarkable success in treating depression with group interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT-G). The study, by researchers from Johns Hopkins University (JHU), used lay community workers with only a high school education. The idea for StrongMinds was born.

Sean left his position as the CEO of a global antipoverty organization and founded StrongMinds, concentrating in Uganda, the site of the previous randomized controlled trial. The organization was incorporated in the United States in February 2013 with no funds. Sean used his family’s savings and volunteered full-time for the first 18 months until supporters were identified.

In our first decade of operation (2013-2023), StrongMinds proved that a simple, cost-effective, and impactful depression treatment model can be implemented at scale by community members in Africa. We demonstrated to global mental health experts that depression treatment can be made widely accessible at the community level—the majority of our depression group leaders are volunteers with low levels of education and literacy.

Our radical expansion of depression treatment in Africa has only just begun. In the forthcoming decade of 2024-2034, StrongMinds will expand its mission to have a global remit, and we will fully embrace treating all people. We will add several more country offices in Africa during this period and embrace the responsibility to more aggressively diffuse our depression treatment approach to eventually reach every corner of the planet and every one of the hundreds of millions of people living with depression who do not have access to mental health care.

Our first step in this journey began in 2022 when we launched our work in the US through StrongMinds America, and further steps will be taken opportunistically in additional geographies. By the end of this decade, we will treat several million clients annually across the globe and have a widespread network of volunteers.

Our global expansion is about more than just expanding the treatment of clients. In parallel, we will vigorously strive to share and promote our learnings and ideas widely as we seek to be instrumental in strengthening the global mental health ecosystem and increasing the visibility of the importance of mental health.

In 2024-2034, we will make unforgettable strides to solving depression for everyone, everywhere.

StrongMinds Is Guided by Its Core Values

A closer look at results from this evidence-based approach.