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The Rwandan Prescription for Depression: Sun, Drum, Dance, & Community


We’ve had a lot of trouble with Western mental health workers, especially the ones who came right after the genocide.” And I said, “What kind of trouble did you have?” And he said, “Well, they would do this bizarre thing:

They didn’t take people out in the sunshine where you begin to feel better.

They didn’t include drumming or music to get people’s blood going.

They didn’t involve the whole community.

They didn’t externalize the depression as an invasive spirit.

Instead what they did was they took people one at a time into dingy little rooms and had them talk for an hour about bad things that had happened to them.” He said, “We had to ask them to leave the country.”

Original Source (at 15:27 of the transcript): http://andrewsolomon.com/coverage/video-tedxmet-depression-the-secret-we-share/