What’s Strong, Not Wrong

“This pandemic has taught us to take a look at ourselves and our loved ones. This is a time to spot their strengths,” said Dr. Tayyab Rashid at an Erin Mills Connects parent, guardian and caregiver event this spring.

It’s well known that people have a negativity bias, explained Dr. Rashid, a licensed clinical and school psychologist at the Health & Wellness Centre of the University of Toronto Scarborough. For close to two decades, Dr. Rashid has worked with individuals experiencing complex mental health issues, especially young adults from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Better mental health for our families and ourselves depends on exercising gratitude and working with positive attributes that each individual has, he adds.

He provided meeting participants with a list of strengths, such as open-mindedness, hope, kindness and humour.

Above: The 24 character strengths that are believed to be universal are identified in the VIA Inventory of Strengths.

Strengths give staying power in times of uncertainty, difficulties of online learning, and when we are exposed to pessimistic thoughts, pandemic fatigue and being around family all the time–top concerns expressed by participants at the event in May.

Above: Caregivers expressed their worries to Dr. Rashid in advance of his presentation on Strengths-based Resilience.

Dr. Rashid shared exercises, suggestions and strategies to reduce stress and allow participants to focus on the good in their lives to be more resilient.

Watch the recording of his presentation here (52 minutes).

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