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Rachel James - THRIVE


Clinical Services Director returns to her secondary school to celebrate peer support programme

Rachel James, Clinical Services Director at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust was delighted to be invited back to her old secondary school in Rochdale, to celebrate the success of their peer support networks – a key component of the THRIVE Framework.

Forty years after she graduated, Rachel returned for the celebration on Friday 1 March at St Cuthbert’s Roman Catholic high school.

The celebration was a part of the Greater Manchester #BeeWell programme which is delivered in partnership with secondary schools to find out what affects young people’s wellbeing and what can be done to enhance it.

The event was organised to celebrate the work of local schools to strengthen their peer support networks, so pupils can give and receive the appropriate support to manage their mental health. The celebration was attended by national clinical leaders, decision-makers and service users.

St Cuthbert's pupils

As one of the authors of the THRIVE Framework, Rachel is passionate about embedding the principles of the THIVE Framework across the country.

She commented, “It was such a privilege to be invited back to my old stomping ground, to see first-hand the excellent work being done by young people to strengthen peer networks and hear about the powerful role they play in supporting pupils.”

“It was my time at St Cuthbert’s that convinced me to develop a career in psychology, so I have a lot to thank the school for. I can’t wait to go back again!”

Charlotte Mitchell, Assistant Director for Integration and Health at Rochdale Borough Council, commented: “I was delighted to attend the #BeeWell celebration event and experience the fantastic energy in the room. The confidence of our young people as ambassadors for this important work, blew me away.”

“These young people are making such a difference to the lived experience of their friends and peers. I would like to thank the team who pulled this jam packed day together and the national i-THRIVE programme team for taking the time to visit Rochdale, meet our young people and see our delivery in action.”

The National i-THRIVE programme works with over 70 areas in England and further afield to improve services for children and young people’s mental health using the THRIVE Framework for system change.

The THRIVE Framework for system change – Tavistock and Portman