Sunday, December 8News For London

Helping people Thrive in London

Another step towards ending mental health stigma in London was taken today with the launch of Thrive in the City.

Thrive in the City, with support from Thrive LDN and Mayor Sadiq Khan, hosted a day-long, city-wide event with over 3000 combined hours of mental wellness workshops and activities.

Co-founder Julia Hillman explained the goal of Thrive in the City: “What it’s about is trying to create a physical space in the city that’s good for our mental well-being.

In order to make sure that physical space provides what people want and need, she considered the launch day of Thrive in the City as the “investigative stage” towards their goals.

Thrive in the City spread out across the city with 80 practitioners leading workshops at business and community spaces.

The City Hall location included self-esteem building activities, magic workshops, and a problem solving booth where people were encouraged to share issues that they wouldn’t have otherwise felt they had the opportunity to talk about.

Another of the activities was StreetGym: a 1.5 mile run making full use of London’s urban terrain.

Co-founder Will Nicholson explained the benefits of the programme: “The great thing about StreetGym is that it combines – not just physical activity, but it combines it with real thoughtfulness.”

You can hear more of Nicholson’s experience with StreetGym here:

Both Nicholson and Hillman both spent many years working in the City of London in senior management – Nicholson with Ernst & Young and Deloitte and Hillman with the Bank of England. They’ve seen first hand what the pressures of the city can do to someone’s mental health.

It’s part of why support from the Mayor and his Thrive LDN project are so important. But Hillman stresses that support from the entire community has been vital.

“All of the support we’ve had from Mind, Business in the Community, City Mental Health Alliance, the Dragon Café – all of these big organisation who are doing a lot of positive stuff for mental health have all got involved in supporting us.

“We couldn’t have done today without all of that support and people really getting behind us.”