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Youth living with HIV (YLWH) have higher rates of common mental disorders (CMDs) when compared with HIV-negative youth. We adapted the Friendship Bench to create a problem solving-based counselling intervention in Botswana delivered by near peer youth lay counsellors for YLWH called Safe Haven. In August 2020, and from June to August 2021, we conducted 22 semistructured interviews with youth aged 13-25 years with mild-to-moderate symptoms of CMDs. Two independent coders carried out an inductive thematic analysis of the transcribed interviews with discrepancies discussed to consensus. Safe Haven was seen as largely acceptable among the youth. Youth felt Safe Haven was a place where they had freedom of expression and could receive practical advice from well-trained and approachable counsellors. Trained youth lay peer counsellors show promise to meet the mental health needs of mild and moderately symptomatic youth, where mental health professionals are in short supply.