Evidence to support the benefits of well-being and positive psychology programs in schools is steadily emerging. There are however, some critical factors that need to be considered and harnessed to achieve more efficacious and sustained program outcomes. For example, building quality partnerships with both internal and external groups is vital and will promote program content and delivery modes that are youth friendly and relevant. Drawing on community and school-based resources which foster youth voice, co-creation and co-delivery is a step in the right direction and will build and leverage long term ‘capacity’ within adolescent and emerging adulthood groups. Using innovative methods, including technological advances is also necessary given the level of familiarity young people have with digital communications. The various experiences and perspectives from students, school communities and a local council group, on delivering a positive education program will be presented. The aim of this presentation is to underscore future possibilities built around optimal partnerships with shared visions of reducing the incidence of mental illness and languishing, and increasing the rates of mental health and flourishing among young people.
Dianne Vella-Brodrick (PhD) is an Associate Professor and Deputy Director at the Centre for Positive Psychology at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. She is also Head of Research and the inaugural Director of the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program (2013 – 2015) at the Centre for Positive Psychology. Dianne is a Member of the Australian Psychological Society and College of Health Psychologists, an Editor in Chief of the Psychology of Well-Being journal and Secretary of the International Positive Psychology Association. Dianne founded the Australian Positive Psychology Network and has co-directed three Australian Positive Psychology and Well-being conferences. Her work is well published in scientific journals and she has received 2.5 million dollars of funding including three Australian Research Council grants, for her research on evaluating well-being programs in schools and community settings. Dianne is especially interested in enhancing the well-being of young people by working in partnership with them to listen to their experiences, understand their needs and co-create youth-friendly well-being programs that consider the whole person and the complex system in which they interact.