At the centre of Black Thrive Lambeth, we amplify and embed the voices of Black communities to drive meaningful change. We facilitate partnerships with key system players, to redress the imbalance of power and inequality felt by Black Lambeth communities, so that Black people thriving is the norm.
There is long-established evidence that Black people have poorer access, experience, and outcomes in mental health services than white people. Research has shown that Black people are less likely to receive early help, and four times more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act. It also suggests that Black people are 20% less likely to access talking therapies and when they do, have more acute mental health problems and are less likely to recover. Research like this fails to consider the various contributing factors that lead to these statistics. Factors such as lack of access to primary care, cultural barriers, and negative past experiences with statutory services all factor into the diagnostic and support journey.
Despite these poor outcomes, there are limited opportunities to meaningfully engage communities in coproduction and codesign of services, there are insufficient culturally appropriate mental health services, and the system does not support a positive environment which sees recovery as possible for Black service users.
Our work on adult mental health is funded by South London and Maudsley Mental Health Trust Department for Health and Social Care and supported by Lambeth Together.
The aims of our work on adult mental health are:
In 2020-2022 originally for support during the UK lockdown period, we provided a weekly virtual space, known as Black Thrive Live, for the Black community to come together, bear witness to one and another and offer peer support. The virtual gatherings ran throughout 2020- mid 2022.
In addition to this Black Thrive have provided support to a local Black family after a member of the family had a negative encounter with the police.
In the future, with increased financial support, Black Thrive Lambeth aim to provide and sign post free/ affordable therapeutic support for families and individuals.
Black Thrive have delivered emotional and wellness support for Black employees at work. Working in collaboration to design and deliver programmes with the organisation’s Black employee groups. The wellness programmes have included therapy, coaching, group coaching, workshops, and Emotional Emancipation Circles to offer ongoing peer support. This unique programme was researched as a ‘deep dive’ by Sheffield Hallam University and generated interest from Kings College London.