Jim McManus is a Chartered Psychologist, Chartered Scientist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.
On discovering The Happiness Course, Jim McManus wrote an article about it. Here is an extract from that article…
Happiness has been a concern of psychology and public policy since Seligman’s work at least,(https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu) and the development of new orientations in psychology studying not human problems, but human thriving is just one of the remarkable signs that psychology as a field of science is flourishing. It’s an exciting time to be a psychologist as we see applications of psychology range from long term illness to organizational innovation, child development and human happiness.
The field of psychology has recently seen the emergence of sub-fields like Community Psychology, Positive Psychology and other specialisms, working on human strengths and human flourishing…so seeking strengthen, not problematize, ordinary lives.
The advent of scientifically sound research on this has given impetus to policy developments at national and international level that what we need to do as health systems and communities is help people thrive. With this comes the well-researched insight that population mental wellbeing and resilience is important. This has seen expressions in the last few years (all with good evidence base) ranging from the 5 ways to wellbeing (New Economics Foundation) to the recent Government Strategy no health without mental health and the Royal College of Psychiatrists no health without public mental health.
Doing this practically can often seem to be easier said than done, but there have been a number of practical initiatives run in local areas seeking to put these concepts into practice. Positive Psychology is taking off, and the accredited mental health first aid movement is just one example of how people can turn these insights into a series of programmes.
But now comes a timely and sensible intervention…a “happiness” course across the Country.
This course has links to well researched psychological insight. What is different about positive psychology and the psychology of happiness is that there has been a significant impetus to popularize it while, for the most part, keeping faith with the underlying science.
Positive Psychology, some of whose insights the course seems to derive from, is defined by the Positive Psychology Center at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania as “the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.”
The course is a neat innovation in the field of public mental health. We need to see more of this.
Some useful links: