Film examines the pursuit of happiness

HCDS will screen ‘Happy’ documentary at the ASUS Red Room this week

The film includes interviews from people around the world.
The film includes interviews from people around the world.

The Arts and Science Undergraduate Society and Health, Counselling and Disability Services have partnered together to bring mental health to the screen.

HCDS is running a screening of the film “Happy,” a 2011 documentary film directed by Academy Award nominee Roko Belic that interviews people from 14 different countries on the subject of happiness.

“Being happy isn’t always what people think it is,” Kate Humphrys, health promoter at Queen’s Health, Counselling and Disability Services (HCDS), aid. “It’s about participating in meaningful activities and finding a way to integrate them into your daily routine.”

Based on the responses of the interviewees, the film concludes that happiness is achieved most often through generosity, strong relationships, breaking out of routine, exercising and engaging in meaningful hobbies.

The film integrates the principles of positive psychology, a relatively new branch of psychology that focuses on positive thought processes in mental health patients, rather than just the negative.

The theory proposes that understanding a patient’s condition is limited when negative traits are focused on.

“The movie addresses ideas about what makes people happy and combines both life stories and scientific research to produce a really inspiring and enjoyable and documentary film,” Humphrys said.

The event will take place on Thursday in the ASUS Red Room in Kingston Hall at 7:30 p.m.

It will be the first film screening held by HCDS this year and is part of a broader strategy on mental health that HCDS hopes will reach out to more students.

“It’s just to spread the message about taking care of your mental health and doing things that are proactive to help you maintain your mental health,” she said.

“It’s an international film, which talks to people from all around the world and that relates to the diverse populations of people at Queen’s and the diversity in what makes people happy,” she added.

It’ll be the first collaboration on mental health between ASUS and HCDS since Humphrys came to work at HCDS over a year and a half ago.

Though there aren’t any plans to host more film screenings this year, Humphrys said a copy of the film will be available for campus groups to borrow.

Before the film, HCDS will hold a presentation that will showcase perspectives on happiness from different staff, faculty and students, including a quote from Principal Daniel Woolf, Humprhys said.

The presentation will also highlight available resources for students on campus.

“I would like students to leave the film having had an opportunity to just think about what makes them happy and all the different ways happiness can be viewed,” Humphrys said, “as well as what they can do to increase their happiness moving forward.”


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