Flourish: A Strengths-Based Approach to Building Student Resilience

  • Tayyab RashidEmail author
  • Ruth Louden
  • Laurie Wright
  • Ron Chu
  • Aryel Maharaj
  • Irfan Hakim
  • Danielle Uy
  • Bruce Kidd


Flourish is a strengths-based collaborative project bringing together four student services departments on a post-secondary campus with the aim of building resilience of students in college and university settings. Its overarching mission is to help students grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally and to teach them concrete skills so that they can translate this growth into action, habit, and purpose. Broadly based on theories of positive psychology and student development, the programme aims to help all students in post-secondary educational settings, but first year students in particular, acquire concrete skills that build their emotional, academic, and physical resilience. The premise is that these components of resilience, in turn, will facilitate emotional, intellectual, and social growth of students towards flourishing. The programme starts with a comprehensive online assessment, which helps determine whether the student is flourishing, languishing, or functioning somewhere between these two states. The assessment includes a comprehensive feedback report and a rich repository of online and campus-wide resources to support their resilience. With staff from four student services departments and student leaders, students in the programme can participate in a range of interventions that support their resilience. This chapter describes Flourish, as a strengths-based assessment and intervention for young adults, in post-secondary settings. It describes the theoretical background of the Flourish assessment battery, programme interventions and initial results. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion about the future direction of the programme.


Positive interventions Flourishing Languishing University students Young adult mental health Strengths-based resilience 



Flourishing Inventory


Grade point average


Mental Health Continuum-Short Form


Outcome Questionnaire


Positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, accomplishment


Penn Resilience Project


Student Engagement Inventory


Signature Strengths Questionnaire



This project, in part, was supported through the Mental Health Innovation Fund (MHIF) from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tayyab Rashid
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ruth Louden
    • 1
  • Laurie Wright
    • 1
  • Ron Chu
    • 1
  • Aryel Maharaj
    • 1
  • Irfan Hakim
    • 1
  • Danielle Uy
    • 1
  • Bruce Kidd
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Toronto ScarboroughTorontoCanada

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