The Flourish Program
Flourish is a collaborative initiative at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) involving Academic Advising & Career Centre, AccessAbility Services, Athletics & Recreation, Health & Wellness Centre, Office of the Registrar, Office of the Dean (Academic), and the Office of Student Affairs & Services. The Flourish Program strives to create these conditions systematically through actions, habits, skills and strategies. The program teaches students to use their strengths to do well and feel well, pursue academic and meaningful co-curricular activities and learn skills to bounce back from setbacks quickly and adaptively.
Flourish is based on Corey Keyes’ model (Keyes, 2007; Keyes et al., 2011). Corey Keyes posits that the absence of symptoms of mental health does not necessarily mean presence of mental health. Using a categorical diagnosis, Keyes terms the presence of mental health as flourishing, and the absence of mental health as languishing. Keyes has examined the flourishing and languishing of more than 1,200 nationally representative adolescents between ages 12 to 18. Keyes found that approximately 38% of adolescents were flourishing, 56% were moderately mentally healthy, and 6% were languishing.
The program also plans to build a rich repository of online multi-media and educational resources for students, teachers and parents so that they have accessible information regarding mental health and how it impacts academics and social life. A sample of this repository can be viewed at www.utsc.utoronto.ca/projects/flourish/resources/. The program has been recently been recognized through the Excellence in Innovation Award from the University of Toronto and CACUSS’s Innovation Award.
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