Kicking for the surface

On Thursday evening during Orientation Week, the College hosted wellbeing expert Dr Denise Quinlan who presented an informative and interactive session to College Members on practical strategies to protect and support wellbeing.

Dr Quinlan, the Director of the NZ Institute of Wellbeing and Resilience, has a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD focused on wellbeing in education from the University of Otago. She is the developer of the Awesome Us strengths programme, successfully tested in New Zealand schools, and she has also worked with schools in Australia and the UK.

In her interesting and lively presentation to College Members, Dr Quinlan highlighted the many benefits associated with higher wellbeing which include better academic results and less anxiety and depression.

Wellbeing literacy is very important, says Dr Quinlan. We need to know what drives our own personal wellbeing and how we can manage it. Her presentation included various useful frameworks including the "Take 5" model which has been widely adopted in the UK: Keep learning, Be active, Take notice, Connect and Give.

Dr Quinlan emphasised that we all need the skills of wellbeing and resilience which can be learned. We should also practice: self-compassion, being grateful, choosing carefully where we focus our attention, and fostering hope.

(Story by the Master, Dr Charles Tustin)

Posted: Monday February 26, 2018