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Positive mental health and well-being

At Brisbane State High School, we recognise that for our students to achieve their potential they must be able to manage effectively the challenges of life and their academic program. Our Learning Policy (PDF, 546 KB) is founded on the principle that all students can learn and also on the Transformation Learning model.

Our students are encouraged to focus on self-development and individual learning in facing challenges.

Butler and Edwards describe the process of really grappling with something new as being in a ‘pit’ where struggles to get out of the pit cause confusion, angst and frustration. As we seek to develop deep and genuine understanding of new knowledge, we expect to experience some of these emotions before we have truly learned. This concept can be applied not only to our curriculum, but also to life in general.

Study Skills Handbook

The ELES Online Study Skills Handbook resource helps secondary school students, parents and teachers to develop the study and life skills necessary for success in secondary schools.

Login details can be obtained from Heads of Year or the Guidance Officers.

The World Health Organisation defines mental health and well-being as,
A state of well-being in which an individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.


It is natural to feel a level of stress or anxiety when challenged or experiencing a new task for the first time, but stress isn’t always a bad thing. It is something that we all experience and it can be the thing that stimulates us to achieve. Developing the grit and resilience to work through challenges and overcome adversity builds our sense of self-efficacy and enhances our overall sense of well-being.

Our students are encouraged to adopt a Growth Mindset (Dweck 2006) in facing challenges. A Growth Mindset is based on the belief that your qualities, skills and attributes can all be developed through effort, application and perseverance as opposed to the Fixed Mindset view that proposes that potential is pre-determined by environmental and genetically inherited traits. By fostering a Growth Mindset in young people, we are focussing on self-development and individual learning as the goal which has been shown to have a positive effect on student well-being.​

Positive Psychology (Seligman 2011)

Seligman’s work has expanded from focussing on authentic happiness to the concept of well-being and how one’s life can flourish. Flourishing is defined as a combination of feeling good and functioning effectively. His theory of well-being consists of the following elements (PERMA model):

  • Positive Emotion
  • Engagement
  • Relationships
  • Meaning
  • Achievement

VIA (Values in Action)

Character research shows that being aware of and applying your individual character strengths increases life satisfaction and well-being.


Mindfulness meditation is becoming increasingly popular in developing coping strategies to manage anxiety and enhance well-being. Mindfulness is the act of deliberating focussing on the present moment in a non-judgemental way.

PERMA Model (Martin Seligman 2011)

Positive emotion

This relates to feeling good and experiencing feelings of joy, pleasure and a sense of optimism about the world.


This is about being actively engaged in an activity that is absorbing and satisfying. Seligman speaks about being in a state of ‘flow’ where you are so immersed in what you are doing that you lose track of time.


Human beings are social beings and require positive interactions with others in order to develop a positive sense of well-being.


This refers to having a purpose in life where you are contributing to something that is greater than yourself.


Achievement relates to accomplishing a goal, challenge or learning something that is significant to you; the greater the challenge, the greater the sense of achievement.