Black Thrive Global: Transforming Mental Health for Black Communities in Birmingham, Haringey and Lambeth
We are excited to share our progress and accomplishments made possible through the generous funding from the National Lottery Community Fund’s Growing Great Ideas Programme. Over the past year, we have been dedicated to establishing the Thriving Futures Collective, a transformative initiative that builds upon the groundwork laid in by Black Thrive Lambeth since 2016. Now, we have extended our reach to Birmingham, Black Thrive Birmingham led by Catalyst4Change, and Haringey, Black Thrive Haringey led by Mind in Haringey. This has been our focus from September 2021- August 2022. Together, we are shaping the future of mental health support for Black communities. Join us as we reflect on our journey and the positive changes we’re making.
Developing Thriving Futures
Our Growing Great Ideas programme has been instrumental in supporting long-term and transformational change. Rather than focusing solely on individual organisations, we are committed to nurturing ecologies, platforms, ecosystems, assemblages, networks, and constellations that drive holistic improvements. We believe these initiatives will lay the foundation for a robust infrastructure that enables countless possibilities. Although we are still early in our journey, we are proud of the substantial progress we have achieved towards our objectives.
Progress and Milestones
The recently published Black Thrive Lambeth (BTL) Impact Report, highlights the strides we have made in realizing our Thriving Futures ambitions (pages 12-14). This comprehensive report dives into the work of our Research Institute and Observatory and the impact of our initiatives in Lambeth. It summarises our progress towards our 2024 milestones and reflects on the invaluable lessons learned during the first year of the Thriving Futures Collective. It is an inspiring testament to the potential for transformative, long-term change.
Extending our reach
Black Thrive Global’s impact is not limited to Lambeth. Catalyst4Change was established as a Black-led organisation in 2017 adopting the role of ‘positive deviants’ to avoid some of the familiar problems with addressing concerns related to the mental health experiences of African and Caribbean communities and the failure to synthesise evidence drawn from lived experience. Click here to read the Black Thrive Birmingham (BTB) annual report.
Mind in Haringey is a local franchise of the National Mind charity federation formed in 1974 to provide information, advice and support to people affected by mental health problems and its chief executive for the past seven years happens to be Black. Click here to read the Black Thrive Haringey (BTH) annual report.
Key Learnings and Insights
Throughout our journey, we have been engaged in continuous individual reflection and collective sensemaking sessions, seeking to uncover insights that propel us forward. As we navigate the challenges and complexities of our work, we have recognised the importance of understanding the unique DNA of each locality and organisation involved. This understanding has allowed us to identify the core elements that define a Black Thrive initiative in any community while acknowledging the necessary flexibility to accommodate local variations.
Challenging the Status Quo
We acknowledge that the existing system fails to see the reality we observe.
As Anaïs Nin astutely remarked, “we don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.”
In response, we established the Black Thrive Research Institute, aiming to produce knowledge that transcends the system’s established perspectives. We are determined to leverage this knowledge to build a powerful movement that challenges the status quo and sparks meaningful change in the mental health landscape.
Influencing Policy and Creating Change
We take great pride in the policy changes we have influenced on multiple fronts. Two of our BTG Directors have played pivotal roles in the development of the NHS England Patient and Carer Race Equality Framework (PCREF), which has undergone successful pilots in mental health trusts across various regions, including Birmingham and Solihull. This framework, set to be implemented nationwide in the first half of 2023, aims to drive systems change in mental health and strengthen the role of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in ensuring compliance.
Furthermore, our very own BTG Director, David Weaver, serving as President of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), has spearheaded the creation of a bursary scheme. This initiative seeks to address the underrepresentation of racially minoritised groups within the counselling and psychotherapy profession. Through these endeavours, we are not only providing fresh perspectives on existing evidence but also generating new knowledge that fosters learning, mindset shifts, and altered assumptions among key actors in the systems we seek to transform.
Join Us in Creating Lasting Change
At Black Thrive Global, we are committed to transforming mental health support for Black communities. We invite you to explore our annual report for a more comprehensive overview of our work. Together, we can challenge the system, change perspectives, and empower communities to thrive. Join us on this journey towards a future where mental health care is equitable and accessible for all.