Prof Dixon Chibanda

Prof. Psychiatry & Global Mental Health

United Kingdom

Dixon Chibanda is a psychiatrist with training in public health. He is the director of the African Mental Health Research Initiative (AMARI) which is a capacity building programme aimed at developing excellence in leadership, training and science in Africa.His research focus is community mental health with an emphasis on developing interventions that are delivered by non-professionals aimed at narrowing the treatment gap for mental, neurological and substance use disorders. His current research is around the Friendship Bench: a stepped-care psychological intervention, based on principles of cognitive behaviour therapy, which is delivered by trained community grandmothers in Zimbabwe. The Friendship Bench has shown effectiveness through 3 randomised controlled studies with the seminal work published in JAMA (doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.19102).

The concept of using park benches as spaces for community healing has been replicated in a number of countries which include Malawi, Botswana,Zanzibar, Vietnam, Jordan and l was adopted by the New York City Health Department's Thrive programme. Dixon has written about his work with grandmothers for the Guardian, LA Times, and the World Economic Forum and has a TED talk on "why I train grandmothers to treat depression" -( www.ted.dixon.chibanda)


Department of Population Health
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health


MSc Global Mental Health


Depression in low and middle income countries

The use of non-professionals to treat common mental disorders

Young people with HIV and depression

Research Area
Adolescent health
Behaviour change
Global Health
Public health
Life-course epidemiology
Disease and Health Conditions
Mental health
Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)

Selected Publications

Global health reciprocal innovation to address mental health and well-being: strategies used and lessons learnt.
Turan, JM; Vinikoor, MJ; Su, AY; Rangel-Gomez, M; Sweetland, A; Verhey, R; CHIBANDA, D; Paulino-Ramírez, R; Best, C; Masquillier, C; Van Olmen, J; Gaist, P; Kohrt, BA;
BMJ global health
Evaluation of the health-related quality of life and associated factors in Zimbabwean adults living with HIV: a cross-sectional study.
Tigirigi, TO; Sithole, GY; Chakara, P; Chirombo, GZ; Chiweza, AR; Mubayiwa, TR; Muchemwa, S; CHIBANDA, D; Dambi, JM;
BMC research notes
An Intervention to Improve Mental Health and HIV Care Engagement Among Perinatal Women in Malawi: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.
Bengtson, AM; Filipowicz, TR; Mphonda, S; Udedi, M; Kulisewa, K; Meltzer-Brody, S; Gaynes, BN; Go, VF; CHIBANDA, D; Verhey, R; Hosseinipour, MC; Pence, BW;
AIDS and behavior
The association of systemic inflammation and cognitive functions of pre-school aged children residing in a Schistosoma haematobium endemic area in Zimbabwe.
Kasambala, M; Mukaratirwa, S; Vengesai, A; Mduluza-Jokonya, T; Jokonya, L; Midzi, H; Makota, RB; Mutemeri, A; Maziti, E; Dube-Marimbe, B; CHIBANDA, D; Mutapi, F; Mduluza, T;
Frontiers in immunology
Reprioritising global mental health: psychoses in sub-Saharan Africa.
Omigbodun, OO; RYAN, GK; Fasoranti, B; CHIBANDA, D; Esliker, R; Sefasi, A; KAKUMA, R; SHAKESPEARE, T; EATON, J;
International journal of mental health systems
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