Last week co-founder of ICEP Europe and expert in positive psychology, Dr. Moya O’Brien, attended the 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology in Melbourne, Australia. The congress was ran by the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) who have thousands of members from across the globe, including Dr. O’Brien. The theme of the congress was ‘Nexus’ meaning connection, specifically human connection. Throughout the week, experts on the topic spoke on how to build collaborations and pathways to aid in human connection and positive mental health for all. With 1,500 delegates from over 40 countries the congress aimed to promote the science of positive psychology, facilitate collaboration among teachers and students and share the findings of the various members in the association.
Dr. O’Brien presented the findings from our Bounce Factor programme we ran in late 2018 in conjunction with County Kildare Leadership Partnership. The Bounce Factor is a brief, universal programme aimed at young people aged 12- 18 years which takes a preventative and positive approach to building young people’s resilience, their ability to bounce back from setbacks and challenges and strengthen their coping skills.
We ran workshops with local secondary schools that aimed to build student awareness of how stress and anxiety can impact their health and teach them positive psychology techniques to combat these. We taught the students how to build a ‘growth mindset’ which focuses on an ‘I can’ approach to learning experiences and addressed the role of happiness and gratitude. We also discussed developing character strengths and identifying and building social support and connections with the students. The programme provided an opportunity for the students to gain an insight into their thoughts and feelings which we found was very difficult for students to do before completing the programme.
Dr. O’Brien is keen to include the findings of our project and what she learned from the congress into our Positive Psychology courses over the coming months. You can find out more about our courses here.
If you would like to implement some of the interventions from the Bounce Factor in your school or if you would like some more information on the programme please email Moya at firstname.lastname@example.org or Grainne at email@example.com and they will be happy to speak with you.