Posted by: Admin | June 13, 2011

More Good News for Happiness

Those of you who enjoyed my post about the UK Charity “Action for Happiness” might be interested in a project taking place in Bristol. The Light Box is the brainchild of artists Lucy Barfoot  and Lucy Duggan who came together to “provide art based workshops which advocate positive psychology in order to promote well-being and tackle some of the stigma associated with mental health.”

What is the Light Box? Here’s an excerpt from their website:

  • Our Vision: A society which promotes and supports emotional wellbeing for all, and understands the importance of long-term investment in good mental health.
  • Our Values: We believe that being creative is a key constituent to good mental health. And a proactive, creative approach to our lives increases the resilience and happiness of both the individual and the community.
  • Our Mission: To inspire people to work together to create a healthy and empowering society, making use of the scientific research on positive psychology.
Their inspirations include “Social Contagion Theory” – the idea that “moods, habits and behaviours” spread unconsciously through social networks, affecting not only one person, but their acquaintances too, up to three degrees of separation. In other words, your small acts of kindness create a ripple effect, meaning that you really can make a difference.
Targeting individuals suffering with mild to moderate stress, anxiety and/or depression, the pilot was so successful that the project is now funded by both the local Council and the NHS. The bottom line, of course, is that being connected to other people has a positive impact on mental health and participating in a creative workshop such as those provided by Light Box – including photography, collage making and reconstructing toys – relieves the isolation that is often at the root of depression.
The “science” of happiness, or “positive psychology” appears to be gaining momentum as the powers that be recognise the savings to be made by the NHS.  Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more “Happiness Projects” like Light Box springing up all over the country.


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