Incorporating Positive Psychology in School Psychology Practice: Promoting Students’ Complete Mental Health in a Multi-Tiered Framework
Virtual Presenter- Shannon Suldo, Ph.D., Professor in the School Psychology Program at the University of South Florida
Presentation Handouts Link (zipped file)
Description- In addition to preventing and reducing mental health problems, fostering students’ subjective well-being (i.e., happiness) is essential to ensuring optimal outcomes. This professional development will convey best practices in promotion of student complete mental health, through positive psychology programs and practices that generate positive emotions and strengthen relationships. Positive psychology conceptualizes mental health as the presence of strengths, virtues, and happiness. This professional development will increase participants’ knowledge of how to assess and promote students’ happiness. Evidence-based positive psychology programs and practices across a range of psychological services will be reviewed, including universal (schoolwide and classwide), small-group, and individualized interventions. Participants will learn how to administer, score, and use tools to measure positive psychology constructs, such as life satisfaction and character strengths. Participants will learn specific programs and practices for promoting all children’s happiness through strategies that target improvements in the factors correlated with children’s subjective well-being, including positive teacher-student relationships evident in schools with a healthy climate, as well as students’ personal levels of gratitude, hope, and use of character strengths. Participants will become familiar with the Well-Being Promotion Program, a promising school-based 10-week program with lesson plans available in Promoting Student Happiness: Positive Psychology Interventions is Schools (https://www.guilford.com/books/Promoting-Student-Happiness/Shannon-Suldo/9781462526802). Participants will also become familiar with a model of complete mental health that directs attention to both positive and negative indicators of well-being and problems, respectively. This dual-factor model has been incorporated into statewide and district planning for fostering students complete mental health, and professional guides for best practices in student mental health services, such as Fostering the Emotional Well-Being of our Youth: A School-Based Approach (https://global.oup.com/academic/product/fostering-the-emotional-well-being-of-our-youth-9780190918873?cc=us&lang=en&).
Cost- Free to GASP Members & $25 for Non members
Note- Virtual Hosting Link will be sent to registrants morning of presentation
Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this half-day professional development, attendees will have knowledge in each of the following areas:
A. How Complete Mental Health Links to Students’ Academic Success
a. Knowledge of traditional and current conceptualizations of mental health (e.g., disease/distress model vs. comprehensive models of “Complete Mental Health” from a positive psychology perspective that include indicators of wellness in addition to emotional distress)
b. Knowledge of studies that demonstrate links between students’ mental health (including happiness) and their academic achievement and schooling experiences
B. Essential Features of a Multi-Tiered System of Supports to Promote Complete Mental Health
a. Knowledge of evidence-based programs and practices recommended for inclusion in a multi-tiered framework for school mental health that includes universal (Tier 1), targeted (Tier 2), and indicated/individual and crisis services (Tier 3).
C. Introduction to Positive Psychology: Understanding and Assessing Key Constructs Relevant to Students’ Happiness
Knowledge of key constructs within the field of positive psychology, including subjective well-being (i.e., happiness), character strengths, strong relationships, and how these constructs relate to youth resilience
Knowledge of how positive psychology fits in with other services in a multi-tiered system of supports for student mental health
D. Positive Psychology Programs and Practices to Increase Happiness
Knowledge of universal (Tier 1) programs and practices for promoting students’ well-being through schoolwide and classwide prevention efforts that strengthen relationships, and cultivate positive emotions about the past, present, and future
Knowledge of targeted (Tier 2 and Tier 3) positive psychology interventions for promoting students’ happiness.
Presenter Information- Shannon Suldo, Ph.D., is a Professor in the School Psychology Program at the University of South Florida. She received her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of South Carolina in 2004. She is a Licensed Psychologist in the state of Florida and continues to provide school-based mental health services to youth in the Tampa area. She has extensive research and clinical experiences in school-based mental health services, including: establishing empirical links between student mental health and academic success; conceptualizing and measuring student mental health in a dual-factor model that considers psychopathology and well-being; evidence-based positive psychology interventions for promoting positive indicators of student well-being; schoolwide strategies to identify youth with mental health problems; and factors that limit and facilitate school psychologists’ provision of school mental health services. She also studies the stress, coping strategies, and mental health of high school students in accelerated courses, and is Principal Investigator of two large federal grant to identify and build factors that predict success among students in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses. She has published more than 70 studies that convey findings from her research on how to assess and promote complete mental health. She is the author of Promoting Student Happiness: Positive Psychology Interventions in Schools, a 2016 book within the Guilford Practical Intervention in the Schools Series, and co-editor of Fostering the Emotional Well-Being of our Youth: A School-Based Approach, a 2021 book published by Oxford.