The Friendship Bench is an evidence-based problem-solving therapy intervention that is delivered by non-specialist workers (i.e., “local grandmothers”) in the community for people experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety (You can learn more about the Friendship Bench Intervention here: The intervention was originally developed in Zimbabwe and has since been implemented in several country settings.

This project aims to adapt the Friendship Bench intervention to Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in London because some BAME communities are widely reported to experience greater mental health inequalities in relation to their treatment experiences and outcomes. The Friendship Bench model of delivering treatment is anticipated to be helpful in this context because there is evidence to show that interventions that included community-led, and non-specialist delivery features, were found to be among effective mental health interventions targeted for BAME communities in the UK.

This project is, led by Professor Dixon Chibanda who developed the Friendship Bench in Zimbabwe, and co-led by Asmae Doukani, whom are both based at the university of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

They are looking for:

They are seeking 2-4 Lived Experience Advisors to contribute to an interdisciplinary advisory committee. They are looking for people who are:

  • 18 years of age or older,
  • Black, Asian, and/or from a non-western ethnic minority (including bi-racial),
  • and have lived experience of mental health challenges.

Expected commitment from participants:

The Lived Experience Advisors are expected to:

  • Attend up to 4 meetings across 1.5 years, that will correspond with key project milestones between Jan 2024 and April 2025.
  • Share insights around the feasibility and suitability of the intervention, the study design and review key materials (which we will aim to keep brief as possible)

Meetings will be held online, via Zoom.

Commitment to inclusion:

They aim to set up a briefing to go over the project, provide key information to facilitate the Lived Experience Advisors’ role, and explore how the project team can support advisors within their role further.

Closing date to apply: 8th January 2024

If you apply for this opportunity please let the organisers know that you saw it advertised by Shaping Our Lives. Thank you!

Application information:

Please email Asmae Doukani at to express your interest in being involved, and please state your:

  • Age
  • Gender (optional)
  • Confirmation that you have experienced mental health challenges (a mental health diagnosis is not necessary)
  • Your racial and ethnic background

This information will enable them to verify your suitability, and ensure that a diverse range of advisors can be involved.

You can also request a call with Asmae Doukani if you would like to ask any questions about the study and Advisory Role, before accepting this position.

The post Adapting the Friendship Bench to Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic Communities in London appeared first on Shaping Our Lives.