Coping in a Crisis with Simon Ward

Feb 27, 2021 | Podcast

Simon Ward is a Senior Educational Psychologist in the Wirral in the North of England, where his specialism is positive psychology and wellbeing.

In this practical and fascinating episode, Simon shares key insights into:

  • What “Positive Psychology” is
  • How can we use Positive Psychology to create frameworks for wellbeing in school
  • He shares the PERMA framework developed by Martin Seligman:
    • Positive emotions – are the driving force behind wellbeing e.g. curiosity, contentment, happiness, joy.
    • Engagement – feeling good, doing well, engagement with the world.
    • Relationships – prioritising human relationships.
    • Meaning and Purpose within a social context.
    • Accomplishment – the biological imperative to grow and develop in all areas of life.
  • Ways to use PERMA personally or for a whole school setting
  • Coping in a crisis, in reaction to the current situation
  • The importance of negative emotions and the danger of ‘Toxic Positivity’ (and what to do about it)
  • The 3 things that make stress and anxiety worse (and how most educators are experiencing all 3) and simple tips to deal with them
  • The HOPE framework and rituals that support Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences. Simon outlines the experiences that all children need in order to nourish their wellbeing:
    1. Nourishing, supportive, nurturing relationships. Schools are already fantastic at this, so focus on creating opportunities for them to be further developed.
    2. Having safe, stable environments in which to learn, play and develop.
    3. Opportunities for making meaning. Community rituals create a sense of value that ‘we’re going somewhere and you’re part of it’.
    4. Social and emotional – an issue of skills development.
  • A social approach to mental health rather than a medical one
  • And much more.

Positive psychology is the scientific study of the characteristics and processes that contribute to flourishing in individuals, organisations and communities. It is an applied approach that is focused on achieving high performance and enhancing well-being through harnessing strengths, doing more of what works and building on success. It is the study of people at their best.

You can connect with Simon:

Via email:

Learn more about the work of Martin Seligman and Positive Psychology at the website


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I developed it specifically for teachers and school leaders to help you manage your mental, emotional and physical health; to support your relationships with colleagues and pupils; and help you cope better with uncertainty and change.