Catford June meeting: Mental health and Wellness

When: Thursday 16th June, 7.30pm
Where: Catford (map)

Mental health and wellness: what are the best ways of looking after ourselves and others?

Speaker: Libby Oakden

Many of us know someone close to us who have had mental health problems or may have suffered ourselves. Why do some people become overwhelmed and others do well, whatever life throws at them?  What might we do to help promote mental wellness and resilience in ourselves and others? You may have heard about mindfulness practice and cognitive behavioural therapy and seen various manuals about happiness in the bookshops but wonder how these are connected and what could be applied in your life?

Positive Psychology a relatively new field, was formally conceptualised by psychologist Martin Seligman on his first address as President of the American Psychological Association in 1998. “Positive psychology should not only have as a useful side effect the prevention of serious mental illness, but it also holds the potential to create, as a direct effect, an understanding and a scientifically informed practice of the pursuit of the best things in life and of family and civic virtue.”  (Dr Martin Seligman, 1998).

Historically, traditional Psychology has tended to look at how to cure psychiatric problems. Positive psychology flips this round to focus on making life better for everyone.   The positive approach offers new information about how we can affect our own well being and that of others. Positive psychologists continue to test and validate actions and activities we can all do to make our lives better and to foster resilience so that we become happier and cope better with whatever life may throw at us.  

Libby will briefly explore some of the background to positive psychology and wellbeing and will share some of the effective simple things we can all do every day to increase happiness and wellbeing for ourselves and those around us.

Our speaker (and SELHuG Secretary) Libby Oakden studied Physiology and Pharmacology and holds a PhD in Neuroscience.  Although she is no longer a lab based scientist she has a long standing interest in mental health having studied neurophysiology anxiety in the past.