College – Issue 34

“It’s so important to teach children the skills and mindsets to enable them to develop a stronger sense of wellbeing, which then leads to higher mental health.” Professor Lea Waters

S is strengths, E is emotional management, A is attention and awareness, R is relationships, C is coping and H is healthy habits” – and devised a tool kit of techniques to help teachers use the learning

them how to make the most of their talents and positive qualities. Many people have a subconscious negative bias, but I believe we should always aim to look for the positive first, creating a switch in emphasis from improvement being a process of fixing what’s wrong to improvement being a process of building what’s right. “There’s a whole confluence of factors that can impact mental health, and parents and teachers need to scaffold young people to develop skills, build resilience, optimism and achievement, and be able to bounce back from adversity and find the healthy balance.”

Judging from the lively discussion in the teachers’ sessions and the overwhelmingly positive response from the large crowd at the community event, Lea’s work has really struck a chord. As she says, “If you can tune into people’s good qualities, you can help everyone be at their best.”

process itself as a delivery mechanism to build student wellbeing.

In her book The Strength Switch , Lea outlines why she believes identifying and focusing on character strengths is the best place to start. “My role is to help educate parents and teachers to use children’s strengths as the starting point for growth and development, teaching

Christ’s College Canterbury


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