Treating Depression at Scale in Africa

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

About IPT-G

StrongMinds Model

Model at Scale

Monitoring & Evaluation

Below is the process a typical woman will go through to break the cycle of her depression by joining a StrongMinds Therapy Group to learn skills to manage her current depression and prevent future depressive episodes.
  • Depression

    Feeling All Alone

    The woman is often isolated in her home, struggling to function and care for her family. StrongMinds is frequently referred by a loved one, clergy member or community partner. Awareness events gain the community’s understanding and acceptance.

  • Pre-Screening
    STEP 2

    Depression or Just Loneliness

    She is screened for clinical depression by a StrongMinds Mental Health Facilitator twice before she is officially diagnosed and welcomed to a group. A one-on-one pre-group assessment discovers more about her unique triggers for depression.

  • StrongMinds Therapy Group
    STEP 3

    12 Weeks of StrongMinds Therapy Group

    She joins 11-14 other women with depression to discuss their situations and learn from one another. The group is completed in three phases and based on group interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT-G) with additional interactive activities and visuals.

  • Phase 1
    STEP 4

    Initial Phase: Group Sessions 1-4

    These sessions focus on creating bonds between group members and building rapport with one another so women feel comfortable sharing personal information and discussing their reasons for their depression.

  • Phase 2
    STEP 5

    Middle Phase: Group Sessions 5-9

    These sessions ensure all members are actively engaged and helping each other by making suggestions regarding one another’s problems. Members begin to fully understand all the symptoms and triggersof depression.

  • Phase 3
    STEP 6

    Termination Phase: Group Sessions 10-12

    These sessions prepare members to end formal sessions. Members are reminded to continually identify their own triggers of depression in the future and what they should do to respond. Individual action plans are created and reviewed.

  • Post-Screening
    STEP 7

    Feeling Hopeful and Capable

    The woman is assessed at the conclusion of the StrongMindsTherapy Group to measure the reduction of her depression symptoms. Over 75% of groups will continue to meet regular and often pursue their own microenterprise activities.

  • 6 months later: Assessment
    STEP 8

    A New Outlook on Life

    The StrongMinds team returns once more to see how she has progressed. The evaluator asks her the same questions from the previous screening stages regarding her mental health and her family’s well-being.

  • Improved Lives
    STEP 9

    More Self Resilience

    With her depression symptoms reduced, her ability to function has greatly improved. Her children are now able to attend school with the additional income and support. There are less medical visits and more meals for the family.

  • Peer Facilitator
    STEP 10

    Group Member to Group Leader

    StrongMinds’ vision is to treat and improve the lives of 2 million women with depression by 2025. By enabling women who have successfully completed a StrongMinds Therapy Group to be trained to lead their own Peer Therapy Group, the impact multiples.