The founding of the United States centered around the principles of individual freedom and the pursuit of what is a much misunderstood notion of happiness. Corey Keyes will talk about this American birthright and the fundamentals of a positive approach to mental health at 12:30 p.m. , Friday, September 26, on the Kelvin Smith Library oval. "The Biggest Exam Ever: Are You Prepared to use Your Inalienable Right to Pursue Happiness?" community hour presentation culminates Case Western Reserve University's Wellness Week.
"Dr. Keyes is one of the prime movers in the positive psychology movement," said Bill Hale, Ph.D., assistant director for University Counseling Services and Center for Collegiate Behavior Health. "He is a very engaging speaker with a vital message for students, care providers, faculty and student advocates."
That message is that the way of life in American today, in terms of our government, commerce and work, communities and educational system are destructive of the pursuit of happiness as flourishing. His statistics state that while most Americans are happy about life—some studies suggest as much as 70-80 percent— only two in every 10 adults are flourishing.
But, what does "happiness flourishing" mean?
According to Hale, Keyes' research focuses on flourishing happiness as being "a lot more than just the absence of disease. It's the ability to find happiness and full satisfaction, living life fully rather than just getting along with not being depressed"
It's a critical message, particularly to students, who often restrict themselves into their rigorous academic life.
"When students are in a high stress environment like we are in, often times they focus on academics and they forget to do things for themselves to help round out their lives with positive experiences and satisfaction that helps them grow as a full human being and not just as a student," said Hale.
"Developing positive things, increasing their sense of subjective well being and 'feeling good' helps students to 'do good' and be a much more positive contributing member of society." he added. "Dr. Keyes explains the complete mental health approach, which is far more important than simply being physically sound.
Keyes, a sociology professor at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, will also present a colloquium on flourishing mental health for University Counseling Services and University Health Services, as well as the residence life staff and selected faculty earlier that day. That session is scheduled for 8:45 a.m. in the Toepfer Room, Adelbert Hall
Keyes consults and works with the several national and international agencies, including the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention and the United Kingdom's National Health Service regarding mental health and its promotion in children and adults. His work is being adopted into a national surveillance program in all Canadian provinces.
Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.