Tichafa developed epilepsy as a child, most likely due to obstetric complications when he was born according to his aunt. Both his parents are late. At school he used to have frequent seizures before he was commenced o medication. Although he no longer has frequent seizures he has continued to be the centre of community ridicule. At the age of 22 faced with a sense of failure, low self-esteem, feelings of helplessness he took an overdose of all his medication. He was referred to the Friendship Bench after discharge from the ER. He was found to have a high score for depression and was immediately commenced on 6 sessions of talk therapy with one of the grandmothers. His aunt who was at the time aged 65 supported him but after his first session on the Friendship Bench he formed a relationship with the grandmother (friendship bench counselor) who provided guidance and has continued to do so to this day.

Friendship Bench is a non-profit that works with community grandmothers in Zimbabwe who are trained to deliver CBT based therapy for depression.

www.friendshipbenchzimbabwe.org