As the providers of NHS mental health services in London we know equally well the quality of service that can be achieved, and that there are gaps we still need to address. We know that even with world class mental health services, two Londoners take their own lives every week and two million Londoners experience some form of mental ill-health each year.
We launched the Cavendish Square Group over two years ago because we recognised that the way to address the particular healthcare challenges found in the capital required committed and ambitious system-level leadership and a change in the status quo to see the disparate groups that make up the healthcare economy - spanning government, providers and the voluntary sector - come together to work towards a shared vision. We needed to work together, with more input from employers, workers and Londoners, to address the causes of mental ill-health and help drive more people towards the services that can help them.
Last week the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan launched Thrive LDN, which is the next collective step to improving the city’s mental health. Combining over 200 experts, voluntary, public and private organisations, clinicians and academics, Thrive LDN will forge new collaboration and develop innovative approaches to make London healthier, happier, and more resilient.
The campaign has set out its aspirations, many of which echo those we set out when forming the Cavendish Square Group - to make London: a city with a happy, healthy and productive workforce; a city free from mental health stigma; a city with services where and when they are needed; a city that maximises the potential of children and young people; and a city with zero suicides.
Thrive’s work has already started, with workshops and Problem Solving Booths around the city, but the next phase is a summer of engagement, to fulfil the aspirations of a city where individuals and communities are in the lead.
Thrive LDN wants to hear what you think of their aspirations for London, what ideas people have to improve the mental health and wellbeing of their workplace, school, or community, and what support you need to make it happen. The more input there is into this city-wide conversation, the more effectively London’s mental health Trusts and others involved with delivering services in hospitals and in the community can ensure that the most appropriate mental health support is available, delivered at the right time, in the right way and in the right place.