Employing Peer Therapists Could Be Effective Strategy To Treat Depression In Developing Countries

New York Times: A Depression-Fighting Strategy That Could Go Viral
Tina Rosenberg, author and former editorial writer for the New York Times

“…Depression is the most important thief of productive life for women around the world, and the second-most important for men. … We know how to treat depression. What we don’t know yet is how to make effective treatment cheap, culturally appropriate, convenient and non-stigmatizing — all needed to get treatment out to millions and millions of people. But some researchers are finding out. … These studies were proof that depression could be treated in poor countries by lay people. Now these researchers are trying to figure out how to streamline these interventions to the minimum outlay of resources needed to maintain excellent results. Many models are being tried, which integrate mental health care into primary care, employ community health workers, or piggyback therapy on to other kinds of services. But one very promising strategy is to rely on peers as therapists…” (12/4).