Poor mental health is one of the biggest challenges facing London and prevalence is often much higher in the communities facing greater inequalities.
When asked, Londoners outline that whilst the capital offers a wealth of opportunities for people to lead healthy and happy lives, living and working in the capital can present various challenges and issues which can impact on mental health and wellbeing.
Thrive LDN, the citywide movement which in 2019 engaged with more than 200,000 participants to improve mental health and wellbeing, has today released the Londoners did report in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation.
The report investigated what had happened since Thrive LDN’s community conversations project in 2018. The project saw more than 1,000 Londoners from diverse communities come together to openly discuss what matters to them when it comes to mental health; including experiences of shame and feeling excluded. The workshops, facilitated by the Mental Health Foundation, produced a total of 180 pages of ideas and actions to be owned locally and taken forward, creating a blueprint for local authorities and regional policy makers.
Londoners did outlines the actions that many of the participants and public health officials have taken since holding those community conversations to lead change locally, breaking down barriers and developing social networks to improve mental health and wellbeing.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has welcomed the report and the actions of all Londoners who are working hard to make London a happier, healthier city. Writing in the report’s foreword, the Mayor of London said: “Londoners know better than anyone else what’s important to them, and what’s happening in their neighbourhoods, their workplaces, their schools, and their homes. They know the type of local interventions that will have the greatest impact, and, for that reason, they are best placed to codesign and lead on solutions to their problems. This report shows what can be achieved when we listen to individuals and communities about what matters to them, and how to translate their ideas and insights into meaningful progress.”
Follow-up interviews and research has highlighted many examples of local efforts and community-based interventions which have been enacted since the community conversation workshops and are now supporting people across London to build strength and resilience.
The headline findings from Londoners did included:
- Large numbers of participants had learned useful information, forged productive relationships and made positive changes.
- As a result of the conversations people had volunteered, created new jobs and support services in their areas.
- Health and wellbeing, suicide reduction and inequality strategies were changed to reflect the feedback resulting in improvements to services and creating a greater parity between mental health and physical health.
Mark Rowland, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, said: “Londoners did is an excellent snapshot of what can be achieved when individuals and communities are empowered and engaged on local decisions which matter to them. It shows how community-led ideas and insights can be translated into meaningful progress to improve the mental health of Londoners. We are grateful to everyone involved in helping to collate and capture the outcomes and examples presented in this report. It is just one part of a continuing Thrive LDN and Mental Health Foundation partnership to help make London a city where everybody has the opportunity to thrive.”