Depression & Migration: Depression Awareness Website Now in African Languages

Audio & Cultural Adaptation

Leipzig, July 19, 2022 - The awareness website is now available in two West African languages, Wolof and Mandinka. The website is aimed at migrants living in Germany from Gambia and Senegal, West Africa. The website offers basic information about depression and points of contact for help in Germany, as well as practical strategies for mental health promotion and self-management.

Due to language barriers and cultural differences – treatment is lacking

Currently, more than 16,000 people of Gambian nationality live in Germany (Source: Federal Statistical Office 2021). "However, due to language barriers and cultural differences, such as an understanding of depression as an illness and the enormous stigmatization of mental illness, the vast majority of migrants in Germany do not receive appropriate treatment. This is where we want to help," says Ulrich Hegerl, President of the German Depression Foundation and holder of the Senckenberg Professorship at Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main. In addition to being available to refugees in Germany, the website is available locally in Gambia: contact details for Gambian support services for people who think they may have a depression are included, so these people can also benefit from the website.

Culturally sensitive and in audio format is an awareness website about depression and its consequences. To grow the understanding of depression, all information has been adapted to the cultural context of West Africa. To do this the German Depression Foundation partnered with the Gambian initiative "Supportive Activists Foundation" (SAF GAMBIA, SAF GAMBIA works locally for the interests of people with a mental illness and is responsible for promoting iFightDepression in Gambia. As Wolof and Mandinka are primarily spoken rather than written languages, information on the website has been recorded as 16 audio files. The website includes information targeted at young people with depression and relatives who want to support those affected.

Free to use and now available in 18 languages

The iFightDepression website was developed by the European Alliance Against Depression (EAAD) as part of an EU project funded by the European Commission. A total of 18 language versions are available, including Turkish, Bulgarian and Albanian. In Germany, the German Depression Foundation holds the rights to produce language versions for migrant groups residing in Germany. An Arabic version for refugees has already been implemented by the Foundation and made available in Germany.


Press Contact

German Depression Foundation

Heike Friedewald

Goerdelerring 9

04109 Leipzig

Tel.: 0341 223 874 12


German Depression Foundation: Researching depression - helping those affected – sharing knowledge

The German Depression Foundation aims to improve the care for people suffering from depression and to reduce suicides in Germany. The President is Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hegerl and the entertainer and actor Harald Schmidt is the Patron. In addition to research activities, the Foundation offers sufferers and relatives a wide range of information and support services under its umbrella, such as the Depression Discussion Forum and the Germany-wide Depression Information Line. Alliances have been formed in 86 regions where communities provide information about the disease at the local level. The work is carried out independently of the pharmaceutical industry.

European Alliance Against Depression – EAAD

The European Alliance Against Depression (EAAD) is an international non-profit organisation based in Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main, Germany, its President is Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hegerl. EAAD has members from all over the world and more than 100 regional network partners globally. The main aim of EAAD is to improve care and optimise treatment for patients with depressive disorders and to prevent suicidal behaviour. It was established in 2008 by a number of mental health experts from different European research institutions in order to sustain the EU-funded EAAD projects (2004-2008). The EAAD is involved in several European research projects targeting depression and suicide prevention.