MQT on 2017-08-10
Session date: 
August 10, 2017
Question By: 
Onkar Sahota
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Your campaign ThriveLDN is an important intervention into the often ignored world of mental health. What do you see ThriveLDN achieving and how will you measure its success?


Answer for ThriveLDN

Answer for ThriveLDN

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  On 4 July I visited The Unity of Faiths Foundation (TUFF) FC to launch Thrive LDN.  TUFF FC is a football‑based education project designed to support youth integration and improve the mental wellbeing of young people by bringing together children of different faiths and backgrounds to prevent young people from developing poor mental health.  It is a brilliant initiative.  I had a great time. 


The Thrive LDN report we published last month has been enthusiastically received.  This summer the campaign has got off to an incredible start.  Over 2,000 people took part in Thrive LDN engagement activity during July with events in most boroughs.  Over 15,000 people have actively engaged with online Thrive LDN material.  Londoners from all walks of life are taking part and sharing their ideas on how we can meet London’s mental health aspirations.  The activity over the summer is helping to build a movement for change as well as informing the actions that we will take to make London a happier and healthier place.  I am struck by the real hunger there is to improve the mental health of the city.  Through the TfL poster campaign almost 18% of Londoners will have seen the posters that will raise the profile awareness of mental health issues.  Once the summer campaign is complete and we have listened to what Londoners tell us we will make sure that we act on this. 


As you know from the excellent work that you and the Health Committee have done in investigating the mental health inequality experienced by different marginalised groups, whilst mental health affects everyone it is both a cause and consequence of inequality and is worse amongst specific groups.  Our Health Inequalities Strategy, which will be issued for consultation soon, will set out proposals for how we address health inequalities.  As you have mentioned, a rigorous evaluation framework is required to measure the impact that Thrive LDN is having.  Conversations are in train on how we can do this and how we can learn from other city‑wide initiatives.  However, this cannot be developed until the engagement activity has been completed and analysed, and Thrive LDN and partners lay out a plan of action later in the year.


Dr Onkar Sahota AM:  Mr Mayor, thank you very much for that very comprehensive response.  I also want to thank you and congratulate you for raising the profile of mental health which has been a ‘Cinderella’ service in the NHS, and also where people do not think of mental health in the same terms as they think of physical health.  You have given a good start in your mayoralty in raising issues about this and you need to be congratulated on that. 


I also very much welcome you allowing TfL space to be used to raise this profile.  Could this become a permanent feature, that we can use TfL advertising space for public health campaigns, not only in relation to Thrive LDN but to other campaigns in coming years?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  The reason why I smirked before I answered is because there is a balance to be struck.  The phrase I used during the campaign was “TfL is good but flabby”.  I was referring to TfL under the former Mayor.  I was trying to increase the revenue streams of TfL and advertising is an important revenue stream.  There is a balance to be struck between maximising revenue streams for TfL via advertising and posters but also the public health and education role that we can use the advertising hoardings for.  We are balancing those competing interests.  However, you are right.  If we can use our media outlets to “educate” the public and inform them of big issues we should do so.


Dr Onkar Sahota AM:  Great.  How do you think Thrive LDN will be fitting into the Health Inequalities Strategy that you will be producing later on this year?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  First and foremost what I do not want is for mental health to be just part of the Health Inequalities Strategy.  I want it to be mainstream.  It affects everybody.  We have to make sure our response takes in everybody.  I will give you one example.  I myself, as well as Deputy Mayors, will be taking part in Mental Health First Aid training this month to improve mental health awareness.  None of us are immune to mental ill health.  All of us have mental health and we want it to be mental good health.  There is an economic case for stressing the issues of mental ill health.  There is a case in relation to access to public transport facilities.  There is an issue in relation to addressing the fact that not all Londoners fulfil their potential.  The Health Inequalities Strategy is part and parcel of this vision we have of it being all‑encompassing, the issue of good public health, particularly around mental health.  I do not want you to think that the limit of my ambition is the Health Inequalities Strategy, but it will be a big part of that.


Dr Onkar Sahota AM:  Great.  Thank you, Mr Mayor, and also thank you very much for putting forward some of the suggestions from the Health Committee.