Human Buffers Against Mental Illness

We have discovered that there are human strengths that act as buffers against mental illness: courage, future-mindedness, optimism, interpersonal skill, faith, work ethic, hope, honesty, perseverance, the capacity for flow and insight, to name several... We have shown that learning optimism prevents depression and anxiety in children and adults, roughly halving their incidence over the next two years... Similarly, I believe, that if we wish to prevent drug abuse in teenagers who grow up in a neighborhood that puts them at risk, that the effective prevention is not remedial. Rather it consists of identifying and amplifying the strengths that these teens already have.
— Martin Seligman
Posted on May 6, 2015 .