Building positive mental health assets to immunise children and young people against mental illness :
Increasing the wellbeing and resilience of children and young people
Promoting the application of positive psychology within schools
Undertaking research to further the understanding of best-practice within positive education
Reducing the incidence of mental health disorders in young people
Why focus on Positive Education in schools?
One in two Australians will experience a mental health disorder during their lifetime, with 75% of all serious mental health conditions starting before the age of 25. 25% of all young people (aged 15-19 years) have a mental health disorder and one in three young people experience moderate to high levels of psychological distress. This includes depression, anxiety, poor body image and substance abuse  .
Mental health is a prerequisite for effective learning.
Research suggests that wellbeing and academic success are interrelated and mutually supportive. Students with higher levels of wellbeing display stronger academic achievement and lower school absences  .
A focus on wellbeing, specifically engagement, increases student motivation and self-regulation, leading to greater school enjoyment and higher academic results.
We believe our focus on improving the wellbeing of young people will help lay the foundation for a resilient and mentally-fit generation. The long-term benefits may well impact the personal, social and economic success of Australia, in decades to come.
Skills and mindsets that elevate PERMA+ can be taught explicitly within schools.
The Wellbeing and Resilience Centre advocates a whole-school approach to positive education, which embeds positive psychology principles into its ‘DNA’, using strategies that lead, measure, build and embed these principles. Ongoing evaluation ensures interventions are targeted and assessed to maximise efficacy and relevance.
Co-create strategies to develop a whole school approach to positive education
Measure baseline student wellbeing and resilience using
Align with the wellbeing measures already in use by the Department for Education and Child Development
Provide high-quality, evidence-based wellbeing and resilience training (needs to be linked to building capability/training)
Facilitate the provision of local university credentials in positive psychology and education
Advise on best-practice teaching resources for embedding PERMA+ in policies and practices within a whole school approach
Provide information about world class evidenced based interventions
Provide opportunities to connect and learn from other schools on the journey
Partnerships and collaborations:
SAHMRI’s Wellbeing and Resilience Centre works collaboratively with other organisations committed to increasing the wellbeing of South Australian children and youth. These relationships include:
Department of Education and Child Development (DECD)
Catholic Education South Australia
Fraser Mustard Centre
Mount Barker High School
Blackwood High School
St. Peters College, Adelaide
Central Queensland University
Over 100 South Australian schools have reported that they are actively involved in building wellbeing using positive psychology.
 Counting the Cost Report, ReachOut.com, 2012
 Australian Government Office for Youth, 2009
 ABS, 2008
 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2007
 Mission Australia, 2007
 Hendren, Weisen & Orley, 1994.
 Durlack et al., 2011
 Keyes and Annas 2009
 Froh et al., 2010