Zumbido Health

The Issue

1 in 4 people suffer from common mental disorders like depression or anxiety. But they don’t get adequate care because:

  • They are often unable to identify or articulate their wellbeing needs, and therefore do not 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. Sufferers don’t have the time, or funds to attend physical support groups and digital support platforms aren’t intimate enough to meet their needs.

The Approach

The Zumbido model is a time-bounded social support program where 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.

We have worked with a range of populations in Guatemala, Mexico, Zambia, South Africa and the UK.

The Outcome

We have proven that our support groups have impact:

  • Increasing self-reported medical adherence
  • Increasing perceived levels of social support
  • Decreasing internalized social stigma
  • Increasing knowledge and access to services

Our participants have sent over 1 million text messages.

We are also developing a methodology for analysing our text message data called 160 Characters – the closest we can come to understanding the mental health and wellbeing needs of vulnerable populations.

Zumbido Impact


To find out more about Zumbido Health, please click the button below:

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