Child's Mental Health
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Children’s Picture Book – I Have a Plan
The Science of Wellbeing
The key elements required for wellbeing have been around for decades, however, psychology and mental health has historically been focused on the disease model (fixing what’s wrong with humans) and ignoring human strengths.
American psychologist Martin Seligman founded the Positive Psychology movement agreeing it is important to support those suffering from mental health and poor wellbeing, but it is also important to empower humans by promoting PERMA and utilising key character strengths.
In his book Flourish 2011, Martin Seligman outlines “Well-Being Theory”, and, based on scientific studies, he concluded that there are five elements to “well-being” and human flourishing which fall under the mnemonic PERMA:
- Positive emotion—Feeling pleasant feelings such as joy, excitement, interest, hope, and contentment.
- Engagement—Being in a state of flow, losing yourself in an activity, likely to be linked to your personal strengths.
- Relationships—The presence of friends, family, intimacy, or social connection
- Meaning—Belonging to and serving something bigger than one’s self
- Achievement—Accomplishment that is pursued even when it brings no positive emotion, no meaning, and nothing in the way of positive relationships.
The study of strengths started in the early 2000s. A total of 55 distinguished scientists joined the study over several years.
The result was the VIA Classification of Character Strengths and Virtues (Peterson & Seligman, 2004), a classification of positive traits in human beings. Since then, hundreds of peer-reviewed articles have been published across many cultures.
Once the VIA Classification was complete, a ground-breaking personal strengths test, the VIA Survey, was designed specifically to measure these 24 character strengths in individuals. Since then, over 25 million surveys have been taken around the world and VIA continues to fuel the advancements of character strengths science through research, personalized reports, books and more.
Since the introduction of Positive Psychology, Wellbeing Theory & PERMA, and Virtues & Character Strengths, hundreds of interventions and activities have been created through scientific studies and research.
70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age