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06 Apr 2011 | The Guardian
How do people "bounce back" after a period of adversity in their
lives? It's a question hundreds of women in community centres
across London have been grappling with in recent months.
In all, 320 women in 20 boroughs volunteered to take part in a
series of eight workshops with the alluring title of "DIY
Happiness". The workshops were run by Well London, a £9.6m,
three-year project funded by the Big Lottery and overseen by the
London Health Commission. Its ambitious remit is to "build stronger
local communities by getting people working together to improve
their neighbourhoods and their health and wellbeing".
Mental health practitioners and researchers only
began relatively recently to focus on promoting mental
wellbeing rather than on "treating" individuals with mental
illnesses. With proof that good mental health benefits the
economy and the population at large, politicians both locally and
nationally have begun to take more interest in the topic.
A key breakthrough for this approach in the UK was the Foresight
Mental Capital and Wellbeing Project report,
published by the Government Office for Science in 2008. This
concluded: "Mental health and wellbeing are fundamental to
flourishing individuals, families and communities and to national
economic productivity and social cohesion."
Read article here
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