Our work focuses on scientifically measuring and building positive states of mental health. In other words, we try to measure and improve the way individuals, communities and societies thrive or flourish. There are many ways to measure how people flourish. Our centre focuses on six core constructs.
Two big contributing factors that feed positive states of mental health are having high levels of wellbeing and having high levels of resilience; that is, living and trying to grow towards the most optimal life possible, and being able to respond to and grow after facing adversity or stress. These two outcomes strengthen each other: having high levels of resilience positively influences wellbeing and having high levels of wellbeing positively influences resilience.
Three other big drivers of our mental health and wellbeing are our mood, anxious feelings and stress levels. They differ from day-to-day; sometimes we have good days, sometimes we have bad days. When problems with our mood, our anxiety or our stress become too strong or overpowering, they can become a more serious. That's why it is important for us to monitor them, so we can more easily find out when it starts affecting our wellbeing too much.
Getting a healthy mind is however pretty difficult without a healthy body. The science is very clear: our physical health and the quality of our sleep, our nutrition and our levels of physical activity directly impact the way we feel. If we want to know how we are doing, we have to measure the quality of our physical health on top of our mental health.
Do these six domains capture it all? By no means. Our mental health is influenced by many resources (or promotive factors) that can help us thrive, and challenges (or risk factors) that can lower our positive mental health. Think about optimism, gratitude, relationships, loneliness, hope; all constructs that have an important relationship to mental health.
Whether you feel well is not just influenced by factors within yourself. We are a product of our surrounding, and are therefore influenced by factors that lie outside of ourselves. For instance, our relationships are key to feeling good. Feeling part of a community can make a world of difference to our wellbeing. Living in a supportive environment that facilitates in basic needs such as housing. Just focusing on individual factors would not be enough.
There are numerous resources an individual can tap into and equally as many that we can measure. Our assessment will give you insight into several of them, in addition to the six core outcomes mentioned above. It is a great way to begin exploring your own wellbeing, its strengths and its weaknesses, and will empower you on your journey to living your best life possible.