News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV

member station

TED Radio Hour

Dixon Chabanda: How Can A Team Of Grandmothers Make Therapy Accessible To All?


Dixon Chibanda on the TED stage.
Ryan Lash, Ryan Lash / TED

Dixon Chibanda on the TED stage.

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Erasing The Stigma.

About Dixon Chibanda's TED Talk

In Zimbabwe, like many countries, there are few options for mental health care. So psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda came up with an unexpected solution: therapy from trained grandmothers, on park benches.

About Dixon Chibanda

Dixon Chibanda is an associate professor at the University of Zimbabwe and the director of the African Mental Health Research Initiative (AMARI).

He created the Friendship Bench program in Zimbabwe, which is a cognitive therapy-based approach to depression. The program trains community grandmothers in evidence-based talk therapy and attentive listening as an accessible alternative to mental illness care. The Friendship Bench has now spread to several other countries, including the United States.

Dixon holds a MA in Public Health from the University of Zimbabwe and a PhD from the University of Cape Town.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit

Support comes from

You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for.  If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.

More Stories