Dixon Chibanda

Friendship Bench

Big Idea: 

It’s not a widely known as it should be, but depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Friendship Bench trains grandmothers in poor communities as therapists, teaching them to deliver simple but sophisticated care that is backed by rigorous evidence. Meeting the clients at community “Friendship Benches,” therapists help them take simple actions that begin to create momentum toward that on the road to recovery.

Dixon is a medical doctor trained in public health and neurological-psychiatry. He is one of 12 psychiatrists in Zimbabwe — for a population of more than 16 million. He has dedicated the last 10 years to developing evidence-based treatment for people that suffer from mental, neurological and substance use disorders.

Rainer Arnhold Fellows