Dixon Chibanda

Health | Zimbabwe

2017 New Voices Fellow


Dixon, a trained psychiatrist, is a Wellcome researcher and DELTAS Africa awardee at the University of Zimbabwe. Dixon is also a Director of the African Mental Health Research Initiative (AMARI). Dixon’s interests include community mental health with a focus on integrating mental health strategies into existing public health programmes such as the PMTCT, immunization and HIV/AIDS. He is also developing, testing and validating alternative interventions to address mental, neurological and substance use disorders. His one of the most prominent achievement is the development of the “Friendship Bench” Program, a community-based mental health intervention that has been scaled up to over 70 primary care clinics in Zimbabwe. Friendship Bench has been included in Zimbabwe’s National Mental Health Strategy 2021 – 2026 and has scaled into six additional countries. In 2021, Dixon received a major award to pilot the Friendship bench solution in London, UK. In 2022, Friendship Bench was featured at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar as a life-saving mental health innovation.