Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health concerns in today's society.
Anxiety and depression are not the same, but they often occur together.
A community-based mental health care programme can significantly improve the lives of millions of people suffering from mental illness, researchers have found.
The study showed that six months after undergoing the six weekly therapy sessions by Canada-based organisation 'Friendship Bench', participants showed significant change in the severity of their depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.
Patients with depression or anxiety who received problem-solving therapy were more than three times less likely to have symptoms of depression after six months, compared to patients who received standard care.
They were also four times less likely to have anxiety symptoms and five times less likely to have suicidal thoughts than the control group after follow-up.
The intervention also improved health outcomes among highly vulnerable individuals who are HIV positive, experienced domestic violence or physical illness.
"We need innovations like the Friendship Bench to flip the gap and go from 10 per cent of people receiving treatment, to 90 per cent of people receiving treatment," Singer added.