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Congratulations to Dr Raj Pahil on her recent appointment to Specialist Educational Psychologist in Positive Mental Health

Published Thursday, 12 September 2019

Article by Dr Raj Pahil on her new specialism in Positive Mental Health.

Positive psychology

Following completion of my PhD in Positive Psychology, I hold a Specialist EP post in the area of Positive Mental Health. The focus of this specialism is to promote a specific model of positive mental health, known as the ‘Grassroots Model of Flourishing’, in educational settings in Coventry.

This model is grounded in a rights-based approach. Research carried out in a local school suggested that children can only flourish once these six entitlements are in place: the right to be safe, healthy, supported, engaged, challenged and listened to. The charity UNICEF UK run a scheme that supports schools to place the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child at the centre of its ethos and curriculum; this is known as the Rights Respecting School Award. UNICEF have made the following case : ‘By promoting the values of respect, dignity and non-discrimination, children’s self-esteem and wellbeing is boosted and they are less likely to suffer from stress. A child who understands their rights understands how they and others should be treated and their sense of self-worth is strengthened.’ I aim to promote a rights-based approach as well as support children and young people’s positive mental health through whole school working. Research conducted in a local school identified five core dimensions of flourishing. These include growing good character, regulation of emotions, autonomous action, a sense of belonging and strengths/competence development. This is also at the heart of the ‘Grassroots Model of Flourishing’.

I have put together a Menu of Whole School Services which include something for all budgets. These include:

  • A Taster Workshop on Flourishing;
  • Bespoke Workshops;
  • The Flourish Programme (which includes 5 workshops on the core dimensions of flourishing); and
  • Research & Development Package (in line with the recommendations of the Mental Health Policy Commission: Investing in the Resilient Generation, 2018).

I look forward to working with educators in Coventry to strengthen the developmental landscape for all children and young people in their care.

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