Dixon Chibanda

Dixon Chibanda is the founder and CEO of the Friendship Bench. The Friendship Bench programme is a brief psychological intervention delivered by community health workers, it was started in 2006 in Mbare, one of Harare, Zimbabwe’s townships.

In his role as PI, he led the Friendship Bench team through the rigorous exercise of a randomized control trial (RCT) which was able to deliver the evidence of the intervention’s effectiveness which went on to be published in the Journal of American Medicine Association (JAMA). With this backing evidence he has refined, adapted and scaled the intervention up both nationally and internationally.

Dixon is a key player in bringing various stakeholders from local health authorities, health professionals, national and international researchers and donors together to form successful collaborations. Chibanda's research interest focuses on the development of interventions delivered by non-professionals aimed at narrowing the treatment gap for mental, neurological and substance use disorders.

He is passionate about connecting with ordinary people in ways that improve their lives using simple but effective programs that can be carried out by non-specialists. He likes to think outside the box as he explores ways of helping people with common mental health disorders. He is a black belt martial arts instructor and is passionate about using alternative interventions such as tai-chi and karate to enhance resilience in young people.


Dixon Chibanda's Project

Describe The Friendship Bench The Friendship Bench programme is an evidence-based intervention developed in Zimbabwe to bridge the mental health treatment gap. Our mission is to create safe spaces and a sense of belonging in communities so as to enhance mental well-being and improve quality of life through the use of problem-solving therapy delivered by […]

Dixon Chibanda's Tweets

Such wonderful news! It’s been a long journey ….so excited about this @bikasrat @ConsortiumAMARI congratulations!

There are wounds that never show on the body but are deeper than anyone could ever know 😓 But you know, and feel, and smile through the pain saying 'I'm fine'.

💚 If you would like to talk about it please reach out to us. We know too.

#Depression #Darkness #MentalHealth 2

Build stronger #friendships & strengthen your #supportnetwork through;
💛 Active listening
💛 Open communication
💛 Being empathic & authentic
💛 Respecting peoples choices (acceptance doesn't have to mean agreement)
💛 Knowing it's okay to disagree
💛 Expressing gratitude 2

Honoured to be part of the editorial team for this special issue @friendshipbench @ConsortiumAMARI @LSHTM

#MentalHealthMatters and #HIV our collection of articles emphasising need for integrating mental healthcare within a full range of HIV programmes to meet #UNAIDS goal of ending the HIV epidemic by 2030 @frontlineaids @ejaf @AniShakari @KingsIoPPN @CarlosdelRio7 @mirandarwolpert https://twitter.com/WileyHealth/status/1415265120591228936

Context is important says @DixonChibanda you cannot impose or assume what works in the North will work in the South. #FriendshipBench Zimbabwe is tailored to our context but power dynamics means that these models are not equally valued in global mental health #ResilientFuturesGMH

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