Black Thrive is a place-based approach anchored in the Collective Impact model with its underlying principle that no single action or organisation can solve an entrenched issue. It brings together all those with a stake in the problem to engage constructively and develop complementary initiatives.
Tackling these inequalities is not just a case of one organisation or service doing a better job nor is it strictly an issue of spending more to fix the problems. In Lambeth the CCG alone spent £72m on mental health services in 2015/16. We believe services and their staff must be supported to collaborate with community members and collectively solve the myriad barriers standing in the way of equal mental health outcomes for all.
 Lambeth CCG, Annual Report 2015/16
Previous local interventions such the Cares of Life project (in Southwark), or specialist services like Fanon, have shown success for some users, but have been unable to create impact at scale or resolve the challenge of sustainability. National system-wide initiatives like the 2005 Delivering Race Equality (DRE) wasn’t able to enact and embed a joined-up response, as reviewed by RAWOrg (Rights and Wellbeing of Racialised Groups) who considered the main reason for the failure of DRE was ‘location of the problem within people from so-called ‘black and minority ethnic (BME) groups’, rather than on the problems within systems and agencies that have reinforced inequalities’. Subsequent reports such as ‘the Snowy White Peaks of the NHS’ highlight how deep-rooted discrimination is within NHS institutions, mirroring the Macpherson Report’s definition of institutional racism.
Without building trust or the ability of institutions to reflect and change, initiatives will continue to feel like they are being done for or to the black communities. Lambeth is familiar with the language of co-production and consultation, yet past efforts have failed to build trust. It is clear that power imbalances need to be acknowledged and genuinely addressed if efforts are to succeed, empowering the community and developing solutions together from a more equal position. And even then it will take time, with trust only coming when progress is evidenced using measures that are meaningful to all.
Lambeth has seen a range of recent programmes of change, such as Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care (SLIC), the Collaborative, and many modernisation initiatives. But the race relations that sit underneath this issue are personal, more complex and difficult to tackle, and wellbeing is also broader in scope, requiring engagement beyond those traditionally involved in mental health services.
 Department of Health, ‘Delivering Race Equality in Mental Health Care; An action plan’, 2005
 RAWOrg, ‘The End of Delivering Racial Equality?’, 2010
 Kline, R ‘The Snowy White Peaks of the NHS’, 2014; Macpherson, W, ‘Report of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry’, 1999