Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

StrongMinds is the only organization working to scale a model to treat depression throughout Africa. Our unique community-based models of group talk therapy are simple, innovative and cost-effective.

Why is there a need for Mental Health in Africa?

Most African governments spend less than 1% of their health budget on mental health. In sub-Saharan Africa, there are approximately 1.4 qualified mental healthcare providers for every 100,000 people (compared to Europe, where there are 45.5 per 100,000).

What does StrongMinds do?

StrongMinds treats depression among women and adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa using Group Interpersonal Therapy (IPT-G).
These talk therapy groups are led by lay community workers and run for 6-10 weeks.

How many women does StrongMinds treat for depression in Africa per year?

StrongMinds was founded in 2013 and began working in Uganda in 2014.  Since then, we have treated more than 230,000 women and adolescents through our in-person and phone-based group therapy model. We aim to treat 165,000 individuals with depression in 2023.

In which countries does StrongMinds operate?

We currently work in Uganda, Zambia, and Kenya, with plans to expand to other countries in 2023.

What is a Social Enterprise?

A social enterprise is an organization that leverages business strategies to maximize social improvements.  In StrongMinds’ case, we focus on increasing access to mental health services by scaling treatment for depression in Africa.  StrongMinds is an international non-governmental organization (INGO) and a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We work in collaboration with StrongMinds Uganda and StrongMinds Zambia under a Master Collaboration Agreement.

What are the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety?

Read about the signs and symptoms here

How does reducing depression benefit women in Africa?

We follow up with the women we treat six months after the conclusion of therapy to assess changes in their well-being. When women are depression-free, they they are able to work more and their children eat and go to school more regularly. They also report now having someone to turn to for emotional support.

What does depression-free mean?

StrongMinds’ goal is to have patients score under a 5 on the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), which has nine questions.  The PHQ-9 is a multipurpose instrument used for screening, diagnosing, monitoring and measuring the severity of depression.  Scoring 1-4 is evaluated as Minimal Depression, and in lay terms this means that the individual is not able to be diagnosed with any significant level of depression, and is thus, depression-free.

Does StrongMinds work on individual cases?

No, StrongMinds, is focused on group talk therapy to stop the depression epidemic in Africa.  By treating women in a group setting, StrongMinds is able to treat more women with depression.

If an individual is not progressing with group therapy, StrongMinds will refer the participant to a facility that is capable of addressing their personal needs.  StrongMinds will continue to be in contact to ensure proper care.

Is my donation tax deductible and secure?

Yes! StrongMinds is a tax-exempt not-profit organization under IRS code 501(c)3. EIN: 46-2090059

Donations made to StrongMinds use Stripe™ to securely process credit card donations online without sharing any of your financial information.

StrongMinds does not share, sell, trade, or disclose your information with anyone.


Here are some great resources that will help you better understand depression and the impact on the lives of these women and their families in Africa.