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What We Do

Adult Mental Health

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

Nelson Mandela

Former President and Activist

Our Ambition

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:

  • To deliver a model of co-production which can be applied to creating and delivering services that provide peer support to members of the Black community with mental health needs.
  • To acknowledge and address the inherent challenges of racism for Black communities within traditional mental health services and to offer individuals from Black communities support to help improve their access, experience and outcomes in line with the Patient and Carer Race Equality Programme (PCREF).
  • To develop a network of local groups, services, organisations, and individuals within the community that the CAPSA team can assist service users in accessing in order to support their physical and mental wellbeing.

What We Are Doing

Our Culturally Appropriate Peer Support and Advocacy (CAPSA) service is a partnership between Black Thrive Lambeth and the Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance. The project is a pilot that has been co-designed and co-produced by Black members of the Lambeth community. You find out more about CAPSA here.
Emotional Emancipation Circles
In 2021 we piloted a programme our Emotional Emancipation Circles (EECs) which was led in partnership the UK Association of Black Psychologists, the Greater London Authority (GLA), we created a unique approach collaborating with the community and South London & Maudsley Mental Health Trust (SLaM) to deliver local mental health peer support. Our programme offers Lambeth’s Black community eight structured sessions of culturally centred peer support which focuses on healing from the impact of anti-Black racism. The sessions provide an opportunity for participants to build self-worth, connect and support each other by sharing stories and learn wellness skills. Participants also have an opportunity to train as an EEC facilitator where they can be trained to lead their own sessions in the community. The flexibility of the programme allows EECs to be shaped for specific groups from our Black communities. For example, families after trauma, older people, Black employee groups, or simply offering an added outlet to support Black residents to improve mental health, empowerment, and wellbeing The unique approach of collaborative EEC delivery demonstrates that there are alternatives to the current system of therapeutic support that can improve access and outcomes for Black communities, support signposting to other Lambeth services, improve connections, and build much needed trust in mental health support services. Black Thrive is partnering with Lambeth Together and working with SLaM and community EEC facilitators to deliver six further EECs programmes in Autumn/Winter 2022.
The Patient Carer Race Equality Framework (PCREF) was a recommendation following the national Mental Health Act Review in 2018. PCREF is NHS England’s accountability framework to eliminate the unacceptable racial disparity in the Access, Experience and Outcomes (AEO) of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and to significantly improve their trust and confidence in mental health services. The PCREF accountability framework comprises three components – Statutory and Regulatory Obligations; Organisational Competencies; and Patient and Carer Feedback mechanism. Its development has been overseen by the PCREF Steering Group chaired by our Co-founder and Black Thrive Global Director Cllr Dr Jacqui Dyer. Established in May 2020 the group reports to a taskforce, with members including patients, carers, and staff from the four PCREF pilot sites, one of these is our partner South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation (SLaM). Black Thrive Lambeth is one of the organisations that hosts the pilot alongside, the Croydon BME forum. You can find out more about the SLAM pilot here
Healing Spaces
We will be providing Black Lambeth residents the opportunity to heal from anti-Black racism in community. We are working to ensure that the curation of these Black-led healing spaces is evidence-informed and culturally grounded. Our hope is that as our communities find respite, they will be able to fully engage with the tools of change. One of the tools that Black Thrive Lambeth facilitates is our 8-week EECS programme. African-centred peer support groups in Lambeth.

What We
Have Done

Black Thrive Live

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 employees in organisations

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.

Reports related to Adult Mental Health