We’re just getting ready.
Black Thrive is a mental health partnership working hard within the borough of Lambeth to create the system changes that will see Black residents thrive.
We decided to use this time to focus on building a new website where we can engage and inform our beautiful community better.
We are still updating you with our latest news so please scroll to find out more.
Black Thrive is a partnership between communities, statutory organisations, voluntary and private sector. They work together to reduce the inequality and injustices experienced by Black people in mental health services. They address the barriers which lead to poorer outcomes across a range of social factors, such as education, employment, housing, and so on, all of which may negatively impact one’s health and wellbeing.
The partnership is supported by a Facilitation Team who help to guide the vision for the work. They ensure that activities reflect the views of people who are affected by mental health inequalities and that resources are well-coordinated and complementary. They do not provide services, but support changes within the system by connecting people and organisations. They create opportunities for the NHS, local council, police and the voluntary sector to work with communities and they also work to make sure change happens within the centre of these institutions and is sustained in the long-term.
The conversations are still happening; there’s never been a time more relevant than now for your experience to be heard.
Covid19 means social distancing is a must, but through social media and the internet we can stay connected and continue to influence the agenda.
Black Thrive Zoom Drop-In
On Fridays from 4 pm – 5 pm, Black Thrive hosts a community drop-in via the Zoom online platform. Come and connect with the team and tell us how you are doing during this time of crisis.
You can join us via your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop.
UK Government Call For Evidence
Black Thrive has teamed up with a number of South London organisations to answer the Government call. Parliament wants to see evidence that the COVID 19 pandemic is causing additional issues in protected communities.
We need you to tell us what you are currently experiencing.
Lambeth Offers help for parents
As the current lockdown causes significant additional stress within family homes, Lambeth’s Parenting Team want to ensure that parents are equipped with the necessary tools and techniques to manage behaviour, reduce their stress levels and provide the emotional support children and young people need during this crisis. The service has suspended face to face courses, but they have made these courses available online as well as one to one virtual support around co-parenting relationships. If you would like some support to help you manage the impact of the lockdown on your family contact Lambeth’s Parenting Team.
Introduction to our new blog
We have to be more vocal, its that simple.
This isn’t Life
We’ve been under lockdown since 23rd March. To use an overused phrase – ‘these are unprecedented times!’. This is the 8th week of the lockdown and the UK has the highest number of deaths in Europe, PPE still seems hard to get and Black folks are at least twice as likely to die of COVID-19 than our white counterparts.
The government has sketched out a plan to end the lockdown, but unfortunately, the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic won’t disappear when the lockdown ends. In particular, one of the major effects of this pandemic will be on employment.
Although the furlough scheme has just been extended to 31st October, many of the people who have been furloughed will not have jobs to return to once it ends. If you have been furloughed, it means that the government will pay 80% of your wages, up to £2500 for the duration of the scheme; but that does not mean that when the scheme ends the company you work for won’t either shut down or make staff redundant.
As a result, many people currently on furlough will become unemployed when the scheme ends. It’s important that we face the reality of these circumstances and start planning for the future now. In that spirit – here are some things you can do to prepare for the post lockdown future, and some systemic changes that would help us all:
Take time and take care of yourself
If you don’t feel ready to think about work, if there are pressing concerns like bills, rent and health, take care of that first. Don’t be concerned about keeping up with the influencers and insta-famous entrepreneurs claiming to make £’000s online. If that’s not your portion, then it’s not, don’t force yourself to be ‘entrepreneurial’ it will only affect your mental health and it would be better for you and the rest of the Black community if you’re healthy mentally and physically when this is all over. It’s ok to take time, it’s ok to take a break sometimes, you don’t always have to be ‘doing’.
Think about what you really want to do in life
Perhaps you weren’t happy with the job you had before so this lockdown period can provide some space to really figure out where you want to be work-wise. What do you enjoy? What would you do every day for free if money were no issue? The answers to these questions may help you figure out the next step, or path you take post-lockdown. The lockdown can allow some thinking space to explore what you really want out of life, if you can, take advantage of that. Try to embrace the thinking time.
Learn Something New
Relatedly, you can always learn a new skill which might lead to new avenues at work. Or give you a chance to test whether you are really interested in that thing that you’ve been thinking about doing. Do you really want to work in finance? Try a course at Coursera. Are you really interested in ‘data science’, try Open University. Finishing these online courses isn’t really that important, if you find the subject matter interesting then you will finish. If you don’t then you’ve figured out what level of interest you really have – try something else!?
The pending unemployment crisis isn’t the responsibility of individuals alone, the government has a role to play too. Can we really go back to saying everyone on benefits is a scrounger after this? The answer is clearly not! Humanising welfare services will be fundamental to the recovery, some people will need longer to get back on their feet, they might need to retrain, and different industries will recover at different speeds.
If travel and hospitality is your expertise or ambition, then how do we make sure that people stay afloat whilst that industry is shut down and prepare them to go into hotels, airports and flights when they get back to full capacity? The right answer to this can’t involve threatening people to take any job and any hours, or else! Industry itself is also important, choices about who gets to stay in work are crucial. Must all senior managers remain on full-time hours whilst everyone they manage is furloughed or made redundant?
Whatever you do during this time, keep safe, keep a physical distance if you can, but maintain your social networks. We’ll only get through this if we care for each other. Remember, in the words of Ubuntu, ‘I am because we are’.
Celestin Okoroji – New member of the Black Thrive team
Black mental health matters.
Everyone’s mental wellbeing is essential, but Lambeth has the highest number of black people accessing mental health services in the country, and this is a problem.
There isn’t just one solution to this situation. Our current priorities are to address issues with: Employment, Serious Youth, School Exclusions, Mental Health Act Section 135 & 136 and Vascular Dementia.
With the assistance of our Working Groups, Black Thrive will help put in place actions and systems that will mobilise the people into action as well ensure the space is safe for them to do so.
You can thrive.
Black Thrive is confident that the community have the skills, talents and the experience to create solutions to the issues we may face.
We make sure that your voices are heard by those that need to listen to it and aim to call into account any agency that does not serve our community correctly.
With recently winning a bid from the Guys & St Thomas’ Trust, Black Thrive now has the resources to become a driving force behind black-centred wellbeing initiatives actioned within our borough.
However, COVID 19 has disrupted not only us but the entire planet, and because of this, we will now have to think more carefully on how we move forward. Public gatherings are what we did best.
Black Thrive is worried about the mental wellbeing of a community already marginalised by the mainstream. We are doing what we can to keep you connected, building this new website plays a role in that.
Black Thrive is an independent partnership of Lambeth community and services. To conserve resource, its staff team is hosted by HealthWatch Lambeth – Registered Charity No 1153444 | Registered Company No 8430436
The New Website is coming soon