Problem Solving Must-Reads: How Grandmothers Can Provide Mental Health Services

Plus: Madrid bans cars, and using prop art to help stop poaching

Problem Solving Must-Reads: How Grandmothers Can Provide Mental Health Services

Plus: Madrid bans cars, and using prop art to help stop poaching

Zimbabwe is home to over fifteen million people; however only ten psychiatrists work within the country’s borders. Common mental disorders, like depression, impose an enormous burden across sub-Saharan Africa. Many of these countries do not have the resources or infrastructure to create programs specifically focused on mental health for low- and middle-income citizens. Nonetheless, Zimbabweans have thought of a smart, community based method to solve the issue: Professional grandmothers, or “golden ladies” as they are sometimes called.

These aren’t any ordinary elderly women. They’re all professional healthcare workers, having been trained in “problem-solving therapy.” They’re found at publicly-accessible “Friendship Benches,” which are located all across the nation. Friendship Benches can be found outside many of the country’s health clinics and serve as comfort spaces where citizens can express themselves and communicate any kind of feelings to one of the professional grandmothers.

The Journal of the American Medical Association recently published a study finding that, after six sessions with a grandmother at a Friendship Bench, a visitor’s likelihood to harbor symptoms of depression decreased from 50% to 14%.

Read the full story here (Via Upworthy)

Here’s what else we’re reading:

The Upcoming Ban on Cars in Madrid

Photo: City Lab

Pollution and traffic often plague European cities because of the sheer number of cars in often tight spaces. However, in May 2019, on Madrid’s main street, Gran Vía, car traffic will be a thing of the past. This week, Mayor Manuela Carmena announced that cars will be banned on the street in four years, with only bikes, buses, taxis, and pedestrians allowed. The plan hopes to cut down on air pollution to increase life expectancy of city workers, as well as benefit the environment. (Via City Lab)

The Prop Artist Who Is Helping to Stop Poaching

Photo: Good

Sea turtles are one of the longest-living animals, but today six out of the seven sea turtle species are endangered. One of the main culprits is illegal poaching. In the hopes to crack the network behind poaching, Hollywood prop artist Lauren Wilde helped create “InvestEGGator.” It’s a faux egg device, which will be used to track the movement of poachers within the larger illegal web. The devices will be placed in real turtle nests; the hope is that, when the poachers remove the eggs, they will unwittingly illuminate the paths of the illegal trade network. (Via Good)

Photo header via Upworthy

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