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.
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.
- DepressionSTEP 1
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, such as information sessions, gain the community’s understanding and acceptance.
- Pre-ScreeningSTEP 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 GroupSTEP 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 divided into three phases and based on group interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT-G) with additional interactive activities and visuals.
- Phase 1STEP 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 triggers for their depression.
- Phase 2STEP 5
Middle Phase: Group Sessions 5-9
During these sessions facilitators ensure that all members are actively engaged and helping each other by making suggestions regarding one another’s problems. Members begin to understand the symptoms and triggers of depression.
- Phase 3STEP 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-ScreeningSTEP 7
Feeling Hopeful and Capable
The woman is assessed at the conclusion of the StrongMindsTherapy Group to measure changes in her depression symptoms. Over 75% of groups will continue to meet regularly and often pursue their own microenterprise activities.
- 6 months later: AssessmentSTEP 8
A New Outlook on Life
The StrongMinds team returns once more to see how she has progressed. The evaluator once again assesses her mental health and her family’s well-being.
- Improved LivesSTEP 9
More Self Resilience
For most women, depression symptoms decrease, and their ability to function greatly improves. With the family benefiting from additional income and support, her children are now able to attend school. There are fewer medical visits and more meals for the family.
- Peer FacilitatorSTEP 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 multiplies.