A new UK charity is the latest heart-based organisation to promote an alternative model to physical, mental and emotional health based on compassion, community and consciousness.
We are seeing a rapid expansion in people’s consciousness worldwide; a change in thinking driven by entrepreneurs, social enterprises and non-profits. The face of the food, education and energy industries are slowly changing, gradually aligning themselves with what is best for the planet.
Even the healthcare systems are evolving: in the UK, the NHS have recently started recruiting Reiki healers to assist their doctors, and the traditionally avoided topic of mental health is on everyone’s lips.
At the same time however, massive cuts in government funding are leading to organisations such as the NHS being simply unable to provide the much-needed support to the population, even to those in need.
So individuals and communities are taking the matter in their own hands and aiming to fill this gap, providing heart-based approaches based in scientific research.
In the US, the Institute of HeartMath (a scientific body researching the impact of the heart and intuition on health and happiness) is training doctors and nurses in their heart coherence methods, and researchers like Dr Lissa Rankin and Lynne McTaggart are bringing scientific backing to what was once the realm of healers and shamans.
A newly-founded non-profit is keen to bring this work to the UK: based on the research of organisations like HeartMath, the Thrive Foundation’s main aim is to provide a space for individuals to connect with their bodies, emotions and intuition – in order to create healthier and happier lives by aligning their lives with their deeper selves.
The grassroots project was established after its founders identified a strong need for extra support within the LGBT community for men diagnosed with HIV; despite the huge advances in medicine, there is a still a big stigma surrounding the condition (in a recent survey, 44% of gay men said that they would not have sex with someone with HIV).
Back in March, they started delivering a 6-month support programme for gay men recently diagnosed with HIV, referred by the NHS clinic 56 Dean Street and HIV charity Positive East.
And it worked: after the first 3 months of the pilot, the average increase in participants mental and emotional health was over 40%.
As a result, the Thrive Foundation was created to continue the work started, delivering more programmes, expanding its services to more populations and collecting more evidence of the impact of its holistic approach.
It aims to present an alternative model to self-care and self-help, and to provide much-needed support to local healthcare systems and specialist charities.
The main mission of the Foundation is to have a deep impact with a wide audience: not just the participants of its programmes, but also their families, friends, networks and the wider community. It aims to tackle the stigma related to lifelong conditions such as HIV, and plant the seeds for more supportive and inclusive communities.
But its founders are also looking at the bigger picture: by sharing their findings with NHS providers and specialist bodies, they aim to directly influence policy-making, through changing the current understanding of health to a holistic prevention-based model rooted in community, compassion, and consciousness.
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