I really want to share this article, and wonder what feelings it evokes in you as you read it.
It describes how a psychiatrist in Zimbabwe noticed that there were so many people struggling with depression and other emotional pain who had so little access to mental health professionals. There were way too little mental health professionals to support this massive demand. Many of these people struggled to live on and some sadly, succumbed to their emotional pain by taking their own lives.
Shaken and yet under-resourced, he desperately trained a handful of neighborhood grannies on basic counselling processes, and set up Friendship Benches in public places where people in need could come talk to these grannies. These grannies also used their cultural knowledge and wisdom accumulated through a lifetime of their own struggles to Listen, and to help.
People started getting better. Anyone in pain could just visit a Bench and talk their hearts out, laying out the agonies they have had to carry privately.
Better still, the mental health of these grannies seem to improve despite the burden of Listening to and sharing so much emotional pain. They felt that what they did was so very meaningful.