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鈥檚 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鈥檚 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 program 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

馃帣 In episode seven, of Maytal's 'Heal With It' podcast, she meets Prof @DixonChibanda, to talk about the healing power of connection, empathy and grandmothers here on the Friendship Bench in Zimbabwe 馃嚳馃嚰

Support from @Zoom for @friendshipbench and the visibility made possible by @BridgespanGroup brings us a step closer to our vision of a Friendship Bench within walking distance for all @WHO @kubatana @ConsortiumAMARI

It's officially #WorldMentalHealthDay ! If you haven't been feeling yourself lately, feeling down and exhausted, have lost enjoyment in things you used to enjoy you may be going through depression; talk with one of our community peer counsellors 馃挌


This 10th October for World Mental Health Day, check in on a one of these people in your life or if one of them is you check in with us 馃挌 WhatsApp on +263 784 845 294.

Don鈥檛 wait to get help, don鈥檛 wait for people to reach out, be the person to reach out.


Looking forward to this! Living the Friendship Bench values & sharing a learning experience. Join @RuthVerhey & myself tomorrow at 2pm (CAT) on Zoom 馃寪馃嚳馃嚰

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