StrongMinds has reached a new milestone: we have now treated depression in more than 100,000 women and adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa and changed the lives of their 400,000 dependents and family members. This milestone comes as the third wave of COVID-19 has caused unprecedented mental health impacts to many vulnerable African communities.
The benefits of depression treatment extend beyond the individual receiving direct care. StrongMinds estimates that for every woman who restores her mental health, an additional four people in her household feel the benefits, bringing the total number reached through StrongMinds services to an estimated 500,000. When a woman recovers from depression, data shows that her family eats more meals a day, her children go to school more often, and her household economic productivity increases.
Approximately 66 million women on the African continent are experiencing depression, and due to lack of investment, about 85% of these women have no access to effective treatment. StrongMinds aims to change those statistics using their proven, cost-effective solution to the depression epidemic in Africa.
“Our impact and progress come from a place of responsibility and a recognition of vast need. If we don’t do this, no one will. We are driven by the inspiring stories of women who have recovered from depression through our therapy program,” said Sean Mayberry, Founder, and CEO of StrongMinds. “Many come to us in deep distress: they are overwhelmed, exhausted, and disengaged from life, with no access to treatment. In our therapy groups, they discover right away that they are not alone with their problems. They learn how to identify their feelings and triggers and talk openly about their problems with others. By the conclusion of therapy, most have begun to take practical steps toward a more hopeful future.”
StrongMinds partners with key players to help layer mental health services into existing programs and is the only organization offering a capacity-building approach to help other NGOs address mental health issues. The organization aspires to reach every woman in need of mental health services across the African continent and aims to provide treatment to 300,000 additional women by 2024.0