Author: Greg Lydall

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Thrive participants

Impact: Reimagine a whole mental health ecosystem

Background

The Thrive Foundation is an accelerator for solving mental health. It uses scientific evidence, cutting-edge innovation, and the power of human community, to solve mental health in a community.

Mental health is dependent on structural determinants: mental wellbeing is best achieved in equitable, just and non-violent societies (Patel 2014). Few Western countries truly harness people power within their communities to improve their societies.

We have been running Thrive2020 events and project support since 2015. In 3 years we have achieved significant impact in our community, and learned an enormous amount about reimagining a mental health ecosystem.

Currently, the Thrive Foundation is the only organisation in the world that openly sees mental health as a solvable challenge.

Thrive participants

Thrive2020 participants

Approach

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Solving a Rubik's cube

How to solve mental health – technical paper

“Better treatment for mental health would improve happiness directly; and improving happiness in other ways would reduce the frequency of mental illness… If we want a happier world, we need a completely new deal on mental health.”

 – Layard et al., 2013, quoted here.

 

Can we reduce population mental illness and addiction to zero? We have previously argued that mental health needs to be “solved” urgently and globally. Only a combined, intentional and co-ordinated effort will shift the needle on the barometer of mental health.  To actually solve mental health, a complete reimagining of the complex societal mental health ecosystem is needed.

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Sunset over Guernsey's south coast

Can tiny Guernsey, an island nation state, solve mental health?

 

One recurring innovation challenge is finding the right location to test out ideas, interventions, new technology and social change. The ideal space is accessible, well regulated, international and ring-fenced. Could public- and private-sector innovation be accelerated by the co-ordinated use of “smart specialisation” by smaller countries? Nesta has pointed previously to the advantages of smaller scale in national innovation capacity.

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Full moon

Why we need to solve mental health (globally and urgently)

 

Mental ill health is one of the world’s greatest complex challenges. The Thrive Foundation is, we believe, the only organisation in the world that openly believes mental health is a “solvable” problem.

Before we put a man on the Moon or ran the four-minute mile, humankind deemed these goals impossible. Once they had been proven possible, expectation shifted and progress was exponential. The Thrive Foundation believes we can do the same for “solving” global mental health by demonstrating that it is possible, starting in a self-governing island nation.

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