Helping young people THRIVE: Implementing a person-centred model of care for young people’s mental health

Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust

  • Led by Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT), Anna Freud Centre, Dartmouth Center for Healthcare Delivery Science, UCLPartners and Young Minds, and evaluated by Roehampton University.
  • Project to enable mental health services to be delivered according to the needs and preferences of young people and their families.
  • Used an integrated, person-centred model of child and adolescent mental health care, and implemented the model at four localities.

Around 10% of children and young people have a mental health problem. This has a negative effect on their physical health and quality of life, making them vulnerable to poor relationships, violence and substance abuse.

Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) face a range of problems, including difficulties with access to care and long waits. Children and young people are not always included in decisions about their care, and the things that matter most to them are often not taken into account. There is an urgent need to improve the quality of services by making them person-centred, equitable, efficient and more effective.

THRIVE is an integrated, person-centred and needs-led approach to delivering mental health services for children, young people and families which conceptualises need in five categories or needs based groups: Thriving, Getting Advice, Getting Help, Getting More Help and Getting Risk Support.

Following successful development in Camden, a core set of THRIVE principles has been identified and translated across four localities in NELFT, using an evidence-based approach to implementation called i-THRIVE. Improvements have included redesign of assessment, advice and signposting services, development of new care pathways, and trialling multi-agency approaches to support high-risk young people.

The project has led to increased access, with 100% of referrals now receiving advice and signposting. Waiting times between assessment and first treatment have reduced by 72%, and breaches of the 18-week target to first treatment have reduced by 60%. 

Main enablers of implementation include dynamic local leadership and national support of i-THRIVE, and using a structured approach to implementation. Barriers include unprecedented strain on services, and lack of capacity in terms of time, experience and expertise.

About this programme


Scaling Up Improvement

This programme offers £500,000 funding to supports teams to take successful interventions or approaches and deliver them at s...

You might also like...

Press release

Government urged to overhaul housing, transport and education policies to secure a healthy society

New report from the OnlyWan finds young people’s future health at risk


Policy recommendations for young people's future health

Read about the nine expert organisations selected to provide a deep dive into seven key policy areas affecting young people's...

Working paper

How many young people are accruing the assets they need for a healthy transition into adulthood?

This working paper uses longitudinal datasets to explore how many young people are accumulating the key asset for future heal...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy -

Get social


A lack of reliable transport is a barrier to eduation, employment and other activities. These are the building bloc…

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 -

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the OnlyWan has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2 -

The Q Community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more