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Professor Helen Weiss

Helen Weiss is a UK based professor at the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is a statistical epidemiologist, works with many international research projects mostly in low and middle income countries. Professor Weiss has helped the Friendship Bench to carry out the successful randomized control trial, testing for the effectiveness of the Friendship Bench intervention.

Melanie Abas

Melanie Abas is a psychiatrist and mental health researcher based in London who regularly visits Zimbabwe. Depression treatment guidelines she developed formed the base for the first intervention used on the Friendship Bench back in 2006 and she has mentored the team since 2009. She is the Deputy Director at the Centre for Global Mental Health, King’s College London. Her research interest is in talking therapies for common mental disorders and capacity building in global mental health and her work focus is in Southern Africa.

Ricardo Araya

Professor Ricardo Araya is the director of the Centre for Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He has been involved in global mental health research for nearly three decades, working in international settings. Professor Araya has been mentoring the Friendship Bench team for many years.