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The pursuit of happiness

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." 

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Action for Happiness


  • @artinhospitals: "@Humana found #patients working with the happiest #nurses made 70% fewer visits to #hospitals" The brill @happyhenry f…

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  • We have some tickets to give away for the fantastic Happier World Conference in London on 5 Nov. Who wants one?… https://t.co/WuxFxXXueY

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  • @RiceOnLife: Would love your support for this happiness project. Join the movement.#YouMatterMarathon https://t.co/oKX…

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  • @happystartups: We're looking for budding purpose-driven entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to life in 4 wks https://t.co/Cz0MXreV9b htt…

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  • @GetOutKids: So true Collect moments not things #outdoorplay https://t.co/9ydEv29JiI

    today 1:10pm

  • @humanutopia: "10 keys to happier living" by #greatdream https://t.co/Jithsp3qMM

    today 1:10pm

  • Workplaces where people are genuinely happy are better for staff, customers and company performance… https://t.co/0v5WucWTs2

    today 12:41pm

  • Being kind can keep you happy, calm you down and heal your wounds https://t.co/rv72yDKW3Q

    yesterday 11:32am

  • @idyiacoaching: Delighted to be running #ExploringWhatMatters course in #Northampton with @lisa_brice. Read more https:…

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