RCSI launches new free course on health and happiness for young people

  • General news
  • Community

A new course aimed at giving young people the skills to optimise their health and well-being has been launched by the Centre for Positive Psychology and Health at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Beginning on 4 October, this free 10-week online course on ‘The Science of Health and Happiness for Young People’ will explore the principles of positive psychology and lifestyle medicine and cover a range of topics tailored to young people between 13 and 18 years old. 

Sessions will include growth mindsets, whole person health, positive emotions and positive practices of motivation, exam management, regulating anxiety and time-management. It will also examine happiness throughout the life-cycle and share strategies aimed at fostering health and character strength in adolescence. 

Established in 2019, the RCSI Centre for Positive Health and Psychology is a unique academic centre that combines the scientific principles of positive psychology and lifestyle medicine to enhance health and well-being. 

Professor Ciaran O'Boyle, Centre Director, said: "We are delighted to bring this course to teachers, educators and parents. We want our young people to thrive and flourish. The programme will help them to explore and understand the science behind their health and happiness so that they develop the capacity to effectively manage their well-being. It will help young people to understand their emotions, know how to use and develop their unique strengths, and grow as well-rounded humans ready to handle life’s challenges."

Dr Trudy Meehan, Senior Clinical Psychologist specialising in child and adolescent mental health, said: 2Young people all over the world continue to face a unique set of mental health challenges but they have also shown incredible resilience, creativity and innovation in the face of uncertainty. This course offers participants an evidence-based programme designed to bolster self-esteem and nurture optimism."

"Research has demonstrated that when young people practice positive psychology strategies, they experience real benefits, including reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, and greater satisfaction with their lives. We look forward to connecting with educators, coaches and parents to help young people build healthy habits and understand the science behind their health and well-being."

The course will feature modules with clinicians, researchers and academics at the RCSI Centre for Positive Psychology and Health. In 2020, a pilot programme initiated by Dr Pádraic Dunne from the Centre, was conducted with transition year students from two Irish secondary schools: Athy College and Ard Scoil Na Trionaide, Athy, Kildare. Feedback from Joanne Parry, Guidance Counsellor and Assistant Principal at Athy College, and the students was used to develop this course. 

Consisting of 10 online lectures, this flexible course is free of charge. The course has been designed for educators and workers in a position of responsibility with Garda vetting, including youth workers and youth coaches. Each session is designed to fit the classroom format of 40 minutes.

Visit here for more information or to sign up.