The goal of our program is for each woman to be depression-free.


Before participating, women are evaluated via the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), a quantitative diagnostic tool recommended by the World Health Organization for use in developing areas. We administer PHQ-9 to determine the presence of depression for prospective participants, as well as the severity of their illness. Following treatment, women are re-evaluated via PHQ-9 to determine the success of intervention.


With its systematic use of the PHQ-9, StrongMinds has more rigorous assessment, on average, than its Western counterparts in mental health.


“Measurement-based care is routine practice throughout the medical and surgical fields — from blood pressure cuffs to A1c tests for diabetes. Yet today, only 18% of psychiatrists and 11% of psychologists routinely administer simple measurement tools, such as symptom rating scales, to monitor their patients’ progress.” Patrick Kennedy, The Kennedy Forum


Fixing Behavioral Health Care in America, The Kennedy Forum, 2013 (


We also measure the impact of the program on the overall well-being of our participants and their families. During our controlled pilot study in 2014, we used longitudinal data to track how the reduction in depression symptoms impacted these women’s employment status, savings and eating habits.


In 2015, we expanded our measurement areas to include the health of participants and their children. We will continue to modify our monitoring efforts as needed.