The future of youth mental healthcare

After years of research and development, we have developed a for-youth and by-youth mental healthcare model that is revolutionizing mental health access in Sub-Saharan Africa

we have built and are scaling the future of youth mental health

Simple, stigma-free, scalable

Our team has developed an effective youth mental health treatment (called "Shamiri"). Shamiri is delivered cost-effectively through a youth-led youth-oriented healthcare model that we call Project Thrive! Through Project Thrive!, we are building a future where mental health problems do no limit the potential of our youth

Why youth mental health?

We have focused on youth mental health for two reasons:

  • They present a global public health challenge: Youth mental health problems are common around the world. They contribute ~45% of the global burden of disease in young people. They cause many negative outcomes that complicate youths' path toward independent and successful living. In Sub-Saharan Africa, almost 1 in 2 youths report mental health problems.
  • There is an overwhelming need for interventions:  There is a "treatment gap" in the Global South. As a result, young people cannot get help because traditionally psychotherapies are inaccessible because they are long and costly, require delivery by experts where there are few experts, or stigmatized because of the colonial history of these treatments.
project thrive!
project thrive!

How Project Thrive! improves youth mental health

Project Thrive! is our for-youth and by-youth mental healthcare model that combines an effective mental health intervention with a scalable caregiving system to ensure that no youth is left behind.

  • The Shamiri (Kiswahili for "thrive") intervention includes simple, empirical psychological elements (sometimes called "character strength" or "wise" interventions).
  • Shamiri is delivered by youth lay-providers (Thrive! Fellows) who are integrated within a three-tier caregiving model with Supervisors (who have clinical background) and a network of the few expert clinicians and psychiatrists.

The Shamiri intervention strengthens character strengths in young people to improve wellbeing, social relationships, and functioning

The Shamiri intervention is delivered cost-effectively by Thrive! Fellows who are 18-to-22 year-old near peers with no mental health background

Thrive! Fellows are supported by Thrive! Supervisors (with a mental health background) and can access a network of expert clinicians (Thrive! Network)

improvement in mental health

Youths report reductions in mental health problems that are comparable (and often exceed) those of traditional and costly mental health treatments

of youths improve grades by 2.5%

Youths report improvements in academic grades after Project Thrive! They also report improvements in interpersonal relationships

cheaper than local alternatives

Delivering Project! Thrive is 6x cheaper than psychotherapy in Kenya (and 40x cheaper than psychotherapy in the US and similar economies)

Project Thrive! is now available across Kenya