StrongMinds

aka StrongMinds   |   Maplewood, NJ   |  www.strongminds.org

Mission

Our Mission

The mission of StrongMinds is to improve the mental health of African women. We are guided by our unique and ambitious goal to treat two million African women suffering from depression by 2025.

Notes from the nonprofit

We aim to scale our programs to provide mental health services to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.

Ruling year info

2013

Executive Director

Mr. Sean Mayberry

Executive Director - Uganda

Dena Batrice

Main address

515 Valley Street Suite 200

Maplewood, NJ 07040 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

46-2090059

NTEE code info

Mental Health Treatment (F30)

Mental Health Association, Multipurpose (F80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Depression is the most prevalent mental illness in the world. Nowhere is that more evident clear than in Africa, where approximately 100 million people suffer from the disease, costing the economy roughly U.S. $5 billion a year. For African women – who are afflicted at twice the rate of men – depression is the number one cause of disability. Yet, due to the lack of investment in mental health services, 85% percent of people suffering from depression in Africa have no access to effective treatment. An African woman with depression, compared with her healthy peer, suffers greatly: She is less productive, has a lower income, and has poorer physical health. If she is a mother, the negative impact extends to her entire family. Research shows that children of depressed mothers are more likely to have poor health, struggle in or miss school, and suffer from depression themselves. StrongMinds is the only organization working to rapidly scale a solution to the depression epidemic in Africa.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Treating Depression at Scale in Uganda

The StrongMinds innovative approach trains and supports mental health facilitators to identify and treat individuals with mental illnesses within their own communities. Having an intimate knowledge of the community is fundamental to providing treatment to those most at risk.

StrongMinds will initially treat depression using group interpersonal psychotherapy (G-IPT), which is fundamentally small group talk-therapy that helps participants modify their behavior. It experiences an astounding 90% success rate in eliminating common depression disorders and has been validated in Africa by researchers from Johns Hopkins and Columbia Universities.

Research has also demonstrated that, in addition to being cured of depression, G-IPT group members also experience gains in productivity and health. In addition, their families and communities also become stronger from the social support system created through the G-IPT approach.

Population(s) Served
People of African descent
Women and girls

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Percentage of people that are depression-free immediately after therapy

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Adolescents, Low-income people, Internally displaced people, Refugees and displaced people

Related Program

Treating Depression at Scale in Uganda

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Depression-free scores from 2014 were inflated by a social desirability bias during data collection. Since 2015 external evaluators collect end-line depression scores to avoid bias.

Percentage of people that are depression-free six months after therapy

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Adolescents, Low-income people, Internally displaced people, Refugees and displaced people

Related Program

Treating Depression at Scale in Uganda

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Participants are assessed for depression using the PHQ-9. Our 2019 data for this metric is carried over from 2018, as COVID prevented our 6-month follow-up assessments.

Number of people treated for depression with StrongMinds Talk Therapy per year

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Adolescents, Low-income people, Internally displaced people, Refugees and displaced people

Related Program

Treating Depression at Scale in Uganda

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total number of participants treated through StrongMinds Therapy Groups and Peer Therapy Groups Total treated includes StrongMinds launching new Teletherapy groups due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal is to end the depression epidemic. StrongMinds is the only organization working to scale a solution to depression.

To end the depression epidemic, our goal is to treat two million people by 2025.

In the next three years, 2017-2019, we will treat 100,000 women as well as proving our two scaling pathways:

1. Partnering and replicating our model with international non-governmental organizations (INGOs)

2. Virally expanding through our Peer Therapy Group model.

StrongMinds implements an innovative, simple, and cost efficient approach to treat impoverished Africans who suffer from depression. Our model is based on group interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT-G) and is facilitated by lay community workers. IPT-G is a proven technique, supported by clinical trial success in Africa, which focuses on improving the interpersonal relationships of depressed group members.

These groups are led by Mental Health Facilitators. These facilitators are lay workers hired and trained by StrongMinds and supervised by staff mental health experts. MHFs work in the community to find, diagnose, and recruit depressed women into talk therapy groups. They conduct numerous concurrent StrongMinds Therapy Groups per week. At full capacity, an MHF treats approximately 350-450 depressed women annually.

In addition, StrongMinds is proving two scaling pathways:
1. Partnering and replicating our model with international non-governmental organizations (INGOs)

2. Virally expanding through our Peer Therapy Group model

Partnering & Replicating with INGOs:

In this pathway, large INGOs adopt our StrongMinds Therapy Group model for depression. There are two options for adoption:

1) INGOs pay StrongMinds to implement group talk therapy for the INGOs' vulnerable populations (pay for service), or

2) INGOs pay StrongMinds to train INGO staff to deliver the group talk therapy model themselves (train the trainer).

We focus on pursuing partnerships with INGOs since they already serve high-volumes of depressed women in their core development work, yet most of these women go untreated for their mental illness.


Viral Expansion:

In the second pathway, StrongMinds Therapy Groups lead to the formation of a new model of depression groups which are both self-perpetuating and self-replicating.

These Peer Therapy Groups are led by volunteer graduates of our original StrongMinds Therapy Groups. These volunteer women are called Peer Facilitators (PFs). PFs are identified and trained in an adapted IPT-G curriculum by StrongMinds, and they also receive initial supervision from StrongMinds. Once trained, these volunteer facilitators identify and enroll their depressed peers into group therapy and continue to lead groups in their community on an on-going, self-perpetuating basis.

Self-perpetuation (or continuation) is defined in this context as StrongMinds' trained volunteer PFs who continue to operate subsequent depression groups--treating numerous patients over the long-term. Self- replication (or expansion) is achieved when a volunteer PF independently trains a member of her own Peer Therapy Group to become a Peer Facilitator who, in turn, treats more patients in an expanding fashion.

StrongMinds is operated by a dedicated staff team, led by Sean Mayberry, Founder and Executive Director, Dena Batrice, Executive Director, Uganda, and Frank Harle, Executive Director, Zambia.

Sean's experience includes more than a decade of work in Africa and Asia where he designed, planned and successfully implemented a variety of community-based health and anti-poverty programs for USAID, DFID, The Global Fund and other donors, all with strong monitoring and evaluation components. He was the Population Services International country director for both the Democratic Republic of Congo and India, during which he was responsible for implementing health programs with an accumulated budget of more than $50 million. He is also the former COO for VisionSpring and CEO of FXB International.

Dena Batrice is a mental health professional with a decade of experience working with individuals and groups suffering a variety of mental illnesses. In addition to her mental health experience, Dena brings to StrongMinds international development experience in program and financial management from her time at FXB International and as the Deputy Country Director in Lesotho for ICAP/Columbia University. Since 2018, her first full year leading StrongMinds Uganda, Dena has fostered new relationships with both INGOs and various Ugandan government ministries. Dena holds a bachelor's degre

Frank Harle possesses nearly 15 years of international development experience and is keenly adept at operating country programs focused on improving the wellbeing of impoverished populations. He has strong experience working with INGO and MOH partners in South Africa, Tanzania and Ethiopia. Before joining the StrongMinds team in 2019 as the Country Director for Zambia, he spent four years as a Country Director in South Africa and a three years as Deputy Director in Tanzania for Restless Development. Frank holds a bachelor's in Arts in History from the University of Sheffield.

StrongMinds' Mental Health Advisory Panel provides expert technical oversight with representatives from diverse backgrounds in psychiatry, psychology, academia and global mental health.

Additionally, StrongMinds receives technical guidance and support from Dr. Lena Verdelli and Dr. Myrna Weissman.

Dr. Verdelli is an, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director, Global Mental Health at Columbia University.

Dr. Weissman is a Professor of Epidemiology and Psychiatry Columbia University and is one of the founders of Interpersonal Psychotherapy.

Group Interpersonal Psychotherapy has been proven and validated by numerous randomized control trials including a 2002 study conducted in Uganda through Columbia and John Hopkins Universities.

StrongMinds has developed a solid and diverse funding basis, despite fundraising challenges for mental healthcare in Africa. We have the support of a number of foundation partners, individuals and multilateral grants that sustain our program and operations.

In the five years since we commenced field work (2014), StrongMinds has treated almost 43,000 women suffering from depression.

Our current monitoring and evaluation shows that 80% are depression-free at the completion of therapy with similar results sustained at six-months and two-years post our intervention.

A key accomplishment yet to be achieved is the establishment and funding of an externally-conducted randomized control trial that measures the impact of our interventions longitudinally, against a control population.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve low-income women and adolescents in Uganda and Zambia, who would otherwise have no access to mental health care.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, we surveyed 12,000 former clients to see how the pandemic was affecting them. For those who needed further therapy, we offered invitations to join free teletherapy. We also learned that the pandemic was causing an increase in anxiety and general stress. As a result, we incorporated specific anxiety modules into our therapy curriculum. We also launched a broad-based, multi-media education campaign to provide the general public with supportive mental health messages in Uganda and Zambia. In 2020, we also piloted phone-based teletherapy. To determine its efficacy, we did extensive follow-up interviews with clients to find out what worked and what didn't. Their positive response encouraged us to continue offering teletherapy in 2021.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We have been able to use participatory input from our clients to refine our therapy programs to better serve our audiences (adolescents, women, refugees), and to better deliver our program through in-person and phone-based modalities.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

StrongMinds
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

StrongMinds

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Jim Rude

John Drain

Portland Community College

Dana Ward

Population Services International

Nina Okagbue

University of Ghana Legon

James Rude

Graham-Pelton Consulting, Inc.

Stephanie Dodson

DRK Foundation

Carol Squire

Carol Squire Consulting

Kim Keller

David & Anita Keller Foundation

Misha Galperin

ZANDAFI Philanthropy Advisors

Andrea Murino

Goodwin Proctor LLP

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/19/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/19/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.