The Friendship Bench project has changed the lives of an estimated 27,000 Zimbabweans suffering from depression and other mental disorders.
The therapist’s couch a wooden bench under a tree. The therapist is an elderly Zimbabwean woman, in a long brown dress and headscarf. Her patients call her “Grandmother” when they come along to sit on her bench and discuss their feelings, their depression or other mental health issues.
The benches are a safe place for people struggling with depression, which in the Shona language is called kufungisisa, “thinking too much”.