Resilience in the workplace needs positive psychology: CQUni expert

02 February 2021

The recent push to promote good mental health in workplaces must go beyond 'let's meditate!'' a CQUniversity Positive Psychology expert has warned.

The experienced social psychologist says responsive programs to improve mental wellbeing will be vital to support people and communities as they face long-term impacts of the pandemic.

Dr Adam Gerace is Head of Course for CQUniversity's Positive Psychology courses' and he's called for an evidence-based approach to achieving happier workplaces.

"Attempts to improve physical health have been well developed in workplaces. However' there's definitely a growing conversation from employers about the importance of fostering good mental health' wellbeing and resilience in their staff'" Dr Gerace explained.

"Across Australia' for example' we're seeing a lot more job ads for wellbeing roles in offices' not-for-profits' councils' and in schools."

"Workplaces could be an important part of frontline response to the mental health impacts of lockdown and isolation' as well as fears about health' and uncertainty around borders."

Dr Gerace said strategies such as developing gratitude' self-compassion and kindness' and focusing on the present have been helpful during the challenges of 2020.

But he warned it is imperative that such approaches are evidence-based and more structured to support community-wide resilience following the impacts of COVID-19 and the bushfires' and this is where studying positive psychology will help'" Dr Gerace said.

"Positive Psychology strategies and interventions move away from non-evidence based anecdotal approaches about health and wellbeing or blanket approaches' to look at what works for whom and under what circumstances.

"In our positive psychology courses' we equip our students with the ability to take an evidence-based approach to designing' implementing and evaluating mental wellness programs."

"At times such as these with the pandemic and the threat of environmental disasters' we can feel very disempowered. It's vital that people are able to not only manage their anxious or threatening thoughts and feelings with awareness' but still be able set goals' move towards them' and live life in line with their values. Positive psychology graduates have the ability to help people in this regard' with the focus not only on helping alleviate distress' but to build wellbeing and resilience."

"An ongoing Positive Psychology approach means practitioners can respond to an individual's situation' and choose intervention is most appropriate to that person at that time – it's not just' 'let's meditate!'"

CQUniversity's Graduate Certificate' Graduate Diploma of Positive Psychology offer practical strategies to enhance the wellbeing and resilience of individuals' groups' communities and organisations.

Available in full-time and part-time modes' they can be completed in six months to two years' with pathway opportunities for a Master of Applied Positive Psychology' where students can develop' design and implement their own wellbeing research projects. For more information visit: