Zumbido Health targets three key populations at risk of mental ill health:
People with chronic health conditions such as HIV or Epilepsy.
People in crisis situations, caused by violence, epidemics or natural disasters.
People who are vulnerable to social isolation and/or stigma, such as those suffering from addiction, or infertility.
The mental health and wellbeing needs of these populations are not being adequately addressed, for three reasons:
Individuals are often unable to identify or articulate their wellbeing needs, and therefore don’t seek help.
The health services that address their physical health needs, in many cases, do not have the capacity to provide psychosocial support.
Mental health services that do exist are not designed to service the wellbeing needs of the populations we believe are in need of support.
Psychosocial support it is often provided in one of two ways for these populations.
First, through a physical support group. The social connection these groups provide can be a powerful mechanism for addressing their mental health needs, but there are a number of barriers to attending them.
Logistical challenges such as transportation and child care.
Human resources – the need for trained professionals onsite, space and allocated time.
Privacy – for some, the face to face contact and lack of anonymity is unappealing.
Second, through digital means. A range of digital technologies have been developed to address the mental health needs of users. Digital platforms provide a solution to the logistical, emotional and human resources challenges of physical support groups, allowing for immediate, anonymous and accessible support. However, many existing technologies often lack the power of human interaction that is key.
Zumbido Health makes social support groups accessible, immediate and anonymous by leveraging the enabling power of digital technologies.
The Zumbido model is a time-bounded social support program wherein participants are placed in support groups of 10-15 peers who share similar experiences. These support groups are enabled by our digital platform, where participants discuss – peer to peer, at any time via text message – a range of issues pertinent to their condition or needs.
The Zumbido model has been deployed across the globe through a number of projects:
HIV positive parents living in London with a well-known HIV charity called Body&Soul
Pregnant women living with HIV in South Africa (Project Kopano)
New mothers living in remote areas of Guatemala (Project Patojitos)
HIV positive adolescents in South Africa (Project Khuluma)