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Mayor launches Thrive LDN to challenge mental health stigma

With more than two million Londoners experiencing mental health problems every year1 the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has launched Thrive LDN, a new movement to improve mental health and well-being across the capital.

The Mayor has joined forces with over 200 experts, voluntary, public and private organisations, clinicians and academics to spearhead a city-wide campaign that will support Londoners to lead healthier, happier lives.

Through Thrive LDN, six aspirations have been agreed for the capital, which include:

  • Supporting more Londoners to maintain good mental health
  • Developing a programme to stamp out mental health stigma and discrimination
  • Working with schools and youth organisations to get young people involved
  • Working with employers to improve mental health in the workplace
  • Using digital technology to boost Londoners’ access to support and services
  • Working with partner organisations to reduce the number of suicides in London

Londoners report a lower level of life satisfaction, well-being and feeling of self-worth than the national average2.  Almost 10 per cent of children and young people living in the capital aged between five and 16 experiences a mental health issue3 and every week, more than 14 Londoners take their own lives. In 2015, 735 Londoners took their own lives4. In the UK, suicide is the leading cause of death in people aged between 15 and 24 and the biggest killer of men under 495.

Inspired by a similar movement in New York, Thrive LDN will encourage better working between boroughs, health services, police, transport and voluntary sectors when dealing with people with mental health issues.

Today the Mayor visited TUFF FC (The Unity of Faiths Foundation) to launch Thrive LDN. TUFF FC is a football-based education project, designed to support youth integration and improve the mental well-being of young people. By bringing together children of different faiths and backgrounds, TUFF FC aims to combat issues such as drug addiction, extremism, isolation, gang involvement and knife crime early to prevent young people from developing poor mental health.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “People from all walks of life are affected by poor mental health, and nearly one in two will suffer a mental health problem at some point in their lifetime. I want London to become a more open and tolerant place where people can speak openly about their mental health and the support they need. Thrive LDN aims to improve Londoners’ awareness and understanding of mental health and achieve real improvements in support and care for those who need it.”

 

The launch of Thrive LDN begins an open conversation with Londoners to encourage everyone to think more, talk more and act more when it comes to mental well-being. Events and a range of other activities are planned over the summer to kick-start the city-wide movement, including new ways of talking about mental through creating Problem Solving Booths, a massive social media and poster campaign and the launch of the Thrive LDN website.

Dr. Anne Rainsberry, Regional Director NHS England (London region) said: “Thrive LDN is a very promising step forward for London. Our aim is to improve the health and wellbeing of Londoners by ensuring important conversations happen about everyone’s mental health. Thrive LDN gives us the opportunity to make our city the happiest and healthiest in the world.“

Councillor Kevin Davis, Lead on Health for London Councils added: “This launch shows the progress we are making in London. We cannot make improvements on our own as a system, we need London’s communities, businesses, voluntary and support services to work with us. We have been overwhelmed by the response, willingness and involvement of partners to launch Thrive LDN and we look forward to working with more Londoners over the coming years.”

Professor Yvonne Doyle, Regional Director of Public Health England (London), said: “Recent events in our city have emphasised how important it is to have resilient, thriving communities to ensure in times of trouble we can support each other to maintain mental wellbeing and to collectively cope with crisis. We can achieve so much more by working together and I look forward to seeing improvements to the lives of every Londoner.”

Dr Marc Rowland, Chair London Clinical Commissioning Council, said: “Real progress has been made across London to improve everyone’s understanding of mental health and wellbeing but there is clearly much more to be done.  This is a chance for London to make even bigger strides by bringing together everyone in our capital to take a citywide approach that prioritises helping all Londoners lead happier, healthier lives.”​

Dr Shamender Talwar, Co founder/ Trustee The Unity of Faiths Foundation (TUFF), said: “The human spirit is far more powerful than any drug in the world, and that is what needs to be nourished with work, play, family and friendship... the simplest of things. Mental illness can be confusing. It leaves those who suffer and those around them disempowered. But misconceptions need to be debunked in order to tackle these problems directly.

“We may not always know the causes of a mental illness. It can be multi-causal, or a result of a traumatic incident. But to leave those who suffer from these issues to fend for themselves is already contributing to their demise. Thrive LDN will be key to bringing awareness and involvement to Londoners on issues surrounding mental health, which require to be addressed. Organisations like TUFF will benefit greatly from the Thrive LDN.”