Thrive LDN has an established public mental health research and community insights team which aims to provide up-to-date evidence and recommendations on mental health and wellbeing in the capital, bolstered by voices from the community to add insights and depth to real-time findings.

We provide the evidence base that underpins all of Thrive LDN’s work, aiming to promote shared learning and build a case for change across the system.

Our team is broken down into two main functions:

Research and Evidence

As part of the research and evidence function, we produce regular briefing papers summarising the known impact of broader issues on Londoners’ mental health and wellbeing, implications for response and recovery planning, and suggested actions we take – locally, sub-regionally and regionally – to address immediate and anticipated future needs. These briefings are a way to consolidate the available information and review findings linked to our current work and identify the need for intervention/response.

We are also in the process of producing a blog series which will take a more in-depth look at pressing issues affecting Londoners’ mental health and wellbeing such as climate change and Covid-19. The objective of the blog series will be to explore root causes of issues and suggest actions to mitigate risks. These blogs will aim to serve as a conversation starter for the wider system to investigate topics and challenge thinking.

Lastly, through our research and evidence work we undertake scenario planning and forecasting trends for mental health in London, anticipating need and addressing emerging pressures on the system.

Community Insights and Engagement

As part of our community insights function, we carry out the collection of insights via community engagement and participatory research projects that enable us to chart and take into consideration the voices of Londoners from a diverse range of backgrounds and along a broad spectrum of lived experiences.

This function integrates creative, arts, and action-based methods within research to ensure we are reducing barriers to communication between communities, individuals, and systems. Through this we intend to build a responsive and reactive infrastructure to express the experiences of Londoners and influence social change, through policy and practice.

Our community insights and engagement function proactively encourages a paradigm shift towards what information and whose stories constitute as knowledge, enhancing and strengthening the evidence base on the lived experience of Londoners.

The impact of COVID 19 on Londoners’ mental health and wellbeing

As part of our role, we produce regular evidence briefings summarising the known impact of COVID-19 on Londoners’ mental health and wellbeing, implications for response and recovery planning, and suggested actions we take – locally, sub-regionally and regionally – to address immediate and anticipated future needs.

This work includes extensive community engagement and participatory action research with communities that are disproportionately at risk of poor outcomes in order to improve the representativeness and granularity of available information. To date, Thrive LDN has engaged with over 200 community groups and organisations and listened to over 10,000 Londoners with a view to understanding more about the experiences of 20 disproportionately at risk communities. Whist this work is ongoing, we have published Pandemic Stories, a participatory action report in partnership with Toynbee Hall, and Thrive Together, a thematic analysis of insights, stories and narratives of Londoners in 2020.

In the initial wave of the pandemic, Thrive LDN developed a series of new articles to highlight the themes from the engagement in more details. The articles focus on racism, discrimination, the digital divide, and community and social networks.