Prof Dixon Chibanda
Prof. Psychiatry & Global Mental Health
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)
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