News ID: 196739
Published: 0516 GMT July 16, 2017

Campaign launched to improve mental health of Londoners

Campaign launched to improve mental health of Londoners

A new campaign to improve the mental health and wellbeing of Londoners launched posters with TfL (Transport for London) across London.

Thrive LDN is a campaign led by the London Health Board in partnership with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, the UK’s National Health System (NHS), and London councils to strive for happier, healthier lives in the capital, wrote.

The campaign put up posters on London transport asking, ‘are we OK London?’ — encouraging people to join in the conversation under the hashtag #OKLDN.

Dan Barrett and Una Carney from Thrive LDN told “Although mental health affects everyone it does not do so equally and poor mental health is both a cause and consequence of inequality.

“Inequality is often worse in densely populated areas, such as London.

 “Poverty and socio-economic disadvantage are key risk factors for developing poor mental health. Poverty can be both a risk factor and consequence of poor mental health in individuals, families and communities.”

“We know that two million Londoners experience poor mental health every year and that Londoners report lower levels of life satisfaction and feelings of self-worth than the national average, and that almost half of Londoners report feeling anxious.

“There are clearly particular factors at play in London that are leading to fewer people enjoying their life and feeling of value. And that’s really the main intention of the movement — Are we OK London?’

One of the main challenges facing all people with mental health problems is stigma and discrimination.

Thrive LDN said: “Never forget to ask your friends, family, colleagues — whoever you care about — if they are OK.

“Members of the Thrive LDN team have lived experience of mental health problems and we know first-hand how hard it can be to be open and honest when things are tough.

“We all need to make it OK to not be OK, look out for each other and make it easier for people to talk about their mental health and wellbeing.”

Thrive LDN is developing citywide actions to improve people’s understanding of mental health, and having the Mayor at the helm of the movement has been a positive first step for galvanizing change in this area.

In response to the latest figures showing that 1 in 4 Londoners will suffer from mental health problems Sadiq Khan commented: “This means in nearly every household across our city, you will find a home that includes or knows someone dealing with poor mental health.

“For some groups in our communities — in particular young BAME and LGBT+ communities — the risk of developing poor mental health is even higher.”

“Yet even though we are all touched by mental health, there’s still a stigma attached and many outdated attitudes that linger. As a society, we are still not comfortable talking about mental health in the way we should.’

Thrive LDN is developing targeted actions with marginalized communities through partnerships with organizations such as Black Thrive and Stonewall to ensure specific mental health difficulties are addressed.

Thrive LDN has run Problem Solving Booths (PSBs) around London throughout July in various locations including Camden Market, City Hall, Pride, and on the tube.

The movement described PSBs as the ‘hyper-local arm of Thrive LDN that give strangers the opportunity or ‘permission’ to have conversations with one another about mental health in a way that is open, inclusive, insightful and fun.

The booths consist simply of two chairs and some signage.

They encourage members of the public to sit and take the role of either the ‘helper’ or ‘helped’ and have a conversation about their mental health and anything that they would like advice on.

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