Introduction to this Volume

Felicia A. Huppert

University of Cambridge, U.K.

Centre for Positive Psychology and Education University of Western Sydney, Australia

Cary L. Cooper

Lancaster University, U.K.

In all the volumes of this reference work on wellbeing we have seen the enormous costs of a lack of mental capital and wellbeing in countries throughout the world. In the United Kingdom alone this cost was estimated to be well over £100 billion per annum throughout the life course (Cooper, et al, 2009). This work has highlighted the costs, issues, and challenges throughout the life course; for children and families, for the workplace, for communities, for the environment, and for the elderly.

In this final volume we explore in the first section what research has told us about the interventions that might be implemented to enhance wellbeing in childhood, adolescence, in schools, in communities, and for the elderly and retired. In the second section we examine the interventions that create positive organizations and communities. And in the final section we explore the policies that help to create the foundation stones for promoting wellbeing.

Our objective is to embrace the challenges of going beyond gross domestic product, which Robert Kennedy highlighted in his 1968 speech, when he movingly advocated the importance of the quality of our lives versus gross national product:

But even if we act to erase material poverty, there is another greater task, it is to confront the poverty ...

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