Impact partner profile


Ending the depression epidemic
in Africa

Est. since
Location of HQ
515 Valley Street, Suite 200 Maplewood, NJ 07040, United States of America
Partnership date with Thankyou
September 2020
Area of focus
Mental Health
Uganda and Zambia

StrongMinds exists to deliver life-changing mental healthcare to African women. Founded in 2013, the organisation has provided a simple, proven, and cost-effective group talk therapy to nearly 70,000 women and adolescents in Uganda and Zambia - positively transforming their psychological health, economic well being, and the lives of their children.

In Africa, 66 million women suffer from depression, it is the number one cause of disability for African women. The impact of depression is wide-ranging and severe. It includes greater food insecurity, substantial economic insecurity with decreased income, lower education and literacy levels, lost productivity and absenteeism from work, as well as poorer health outcomes for both the women and their children. Evidence shows that when you treat a depressed woman, it not only improves her life, but also those of her children, and her community.

StrongMinds implements an innovative and rigorously tested therapeutic model to treat depression in low-income African women. The model uses Group Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT-G) in a culturally adapted format delivered by local women. On average, over 80% of the women StrongMinds treats are depression-free at the conclusion of therapy, and remain depression-free six months after treatment ends. These results are sustained years into her future.

Exponential growth is needed to end the depression epidemic in Africa. Over the past six years, StrongMinds has built a robust program that demonstrates the efficacy of their methods and their ability to expand geographically and minimise costs. They have established winning partnerships, with proven impact and significant return on investment. The organisation is now poised to scale their model through sustainable partnerships with governments and international non-governmental organisations, broadening the lasting social impact that is seen when women regain their mental health.

Yearly, StrongMinds serves 23,000 women, furthering their mission to improve the mental health of all women in Africa.

Type of grant funding given

Core impact goals

Increased reach

StrongMinds aim to increase treatment provided to African women suffering from depression (as measured by the total number of patients treated per year).

Increase in depression-free patients

StrongMinds has a goal of increasing the percentage of treated patients who are depression-free after completing therapy. This is the percentage of patients showing a reduction in depressive symptoms to the level that they can no longer be diagnosed as depressed.

Decrease in depression scores

StrongMinds are aiming to see an average reduction in depression scores among treated patients as measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) Depression Screening Tool.

Impact milestones

StrongMinds aim to reach the following impact milestones over the course of Thankyou's grant period (12 months):

1. Using phone-based teletherapy, StrongMinds will provide free group interpersonal therapy to 11,000 marginalised and low-income individuals in Uganda and Zambia who suffer from depression and anxiety

2. Have 75% of clients who complete therapy (attending at least five out of eight sessions) report clinically significant improvements in their symptoms, as measured by a reduction of five or more points on the PHQ-9 scale

3. Complete a mass, multimedia psycho-education campaign that reaches five million Ugandans and Zambians and consists of radio spots, video, and social media promotion, to help the public understand the symptoms and causes of depression and anxiety

4. Formalise at least four new partnerships with medium/large sized NGOs with long-term health impact

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