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Positive Psychology:

Award Program to Honour Workplace Well-being Leaders

Promoting peer learning by sharing evidence-based best practices 

By Katy Miller

It takes far more than increased productivity and a solid bottom line to be considered a top employer these days. Canadian organizations, regardless of size or type, must consider the whole employee experience to land at the top of the heap which means providing education, guidance, services or experiences that promote physical and mental well-being of those working for them.

The science says those organizations that take a holistic approach to managing employees are going to come out on top. It’s not just market share, profit margins and scaling the business that requires thought and attention nowadays, organizations must take more responsibility for the overall well-being of those they hire on an ongoing basis.

As part of the continued migration towards healthier workplaces, the Canadian Positive Psychology Association (CPPA) is launching its first Canadian Workplace Well-being Awards (CWWA) as a way to recognize programs that creatively nurture and support the mental health and well-being of employees across the country.  

 “We want to show the progression that organizations have made beyond simply the nutrition and fitness aspects of well-being. The pandemic has driven organizations to get creative around what they can offer to their employees and to bring them experiences they would not have had before,” said Wendy Parkes, CWWA Co-chair and CPPA board member, “and we want to celebrate that.”

Celebrating success is one of the hallmarks of positive psychology. While clinical psychology tends to focus on correcting mental illness, Dr. Martin Seligman, who is considered a positive psychology pioneer, says this emerging field is instead, the scientific study of what makes life most worth living – a focus on human flourishing at various levels that include the biological, personal, relational, institutional, cultural and global dimensions of life.

Jennifer Card, who co-chairs the CWWA and sits on the CPPA board along with Parkes, says she would like to create a platform, through the awards, for knowledge translation and exchange.

“Even before the pandemic, organizations were undoubtedly operating really great programs and we know that the pandemic has taken it to a new level with well-being at the forefront for many, so we would like to be able to share these ideas and experiences and I believe the awards will help further that aim,” said Card.

In pre-pandemic times, the not-for-profit CPPA would host a popular bi-annual conference attracting a variety of stakeholders interested in positive psychology including researchers, practitioners, teachers and students. It was a forum for sharing but also a link between the evidence-based study of well-being and those leveraging the science in their roles as disseminators.

“Given the circumstances we were not able to plan our conference, so we looked at other ways to facilitate positive psychology research outreach and promote the CPPA. We feel the CWWA will do just that,” said Card.

Although this initiative was born out of necessity the CPPA plans to keep it around, hoping that the CWWA continues to garner interest and CPPA visibility will grow year over year.

“We would love to get the CWWA in a position where organizations are excited to apply for it each year and want to be associated with it,” said Parkes, who indicated that she and her CPPA colleagues are discussing ways to grow the award program for subsequent years including creating verticals for organization size and type as well as including honourable mentions so that they can acknowledge as many leaders in this space as possible.

As the volunteer-driven CPPA expands into the organizational demographic with its inaugural award program, there is growth happening in other areas of the organization as well. Many initiatives are underway that will further the CPPA mission of realizing a psychologically healthy Canadian society through the enhancement of individual and community well-being.

“We are always seeking opportunities that foster collaboration with other forward-thinking organizations and looking for innovative ways to bring positive psychology research to those who will use it,” said Louisa Jewell, CPPA Founder and President, “we are excited about the award, it will not only provide a forum to get people talking about positive psychology, it will bring like-minded folks together which is really when magic happens.”

Applications will open June 1, 2021 and the winner will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on November 4, 2021. If you are interested in applying or getting involved in any other way, please visit for more information.


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The Canadian Positive Psychology Association (CPPA) is a leader in the global positive movement of like-minded individuals interested in the research and application of positive psychology. The CPPA promotes the science and application of positive psychology and its research-based interventions across Canada through its member base and affiliates. The CPPA is a conduit of everything-positive-psychology in Canada, connecting and supporting academic research programs, strategic alliances, and membership.

The CPPA is a not-for-profit organization committed to realizing a psychologically healthy society by connecting positive psychology research and leading practices to Canadians. Through peer learning opportunities, the CPPA leverages evidence-based data around individual and community well-being to help people flourish and to promote a continued conversation about how to live ‘the good life’. 

The CPPA’s mission is to help to nurture a psychologically healthy Canadian society at the organizational and individual level.

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The Canadian Positive Psychology Association is a registered Canadian not-for-profit organization.  We represent scholars and academics who are engaged in rigorous academic research in the field of positive psychology, and we work with practitioners to ensure a higher standard in the application of positive psychology. We welcome researchers, practitioners, teachers, clinicians, coaches, professionals, students, and members of the general public to join us as members. We are proudly supported by the International Positive Psychology Association.

To have a psychologically healthy Canadian society through the research and application of positive psychology across Canada.
Our Mission
The mission of the CPPA is to promote the science and practice of positive psychology and its research-based applications, and to facilitate collaboration and communication among researchers, practitioners, teachers, and students in Canada and around the world, across disciplines, who are interested in positive psychology. The CPPA contributes to enhancing individual and community well-being, and quality of life by disseminating positive psychology knowledge and applications in Canada.


  • To enhance individual and collective well-being; 
  • To introduce and promote information about positive psychology research, knowledge and applications to Canada;
  • To establish a network of academic institutions, positive psychology practitioners, public organizations, private companies, non-profit organizations, health organizations and government with an interest in promoting the psychological well-being of Canadians; 
  • To produce a platform for Canadian scientists to advance the knowledge of the science of well-being and explore novel ways to apply their knowledge;
  • To provide reliable, evidence-based information about the nature of well-being and the application of positive psychology across all disciplines, through the Internet, seminars, publications, workshops and online media


Positive psychology is a topic area within the field of psychology that seeks to provide scientific answers to the question "What is the good life?" Positive psychology is not a modality for treating psychological disorders. The Canadian Positive Psychology Association (CPPA) offers learning opportunities about positive psychology through educational events such as workshops and conferences. CPPA does not offer psychological services of any kind. Anyone seeking counseling, therapy or other forms of (mental) health services is advised to consult a licensed (mental) health services professional. Membership in CPPA does not provide members with any credentials or certification to practice, does not qualify someone as a psychologist, or allow them to offer psychological services.

Meet Your Host

The Canadian Positive Psychology Association

Positive psychology is the evidence-based, scientifically-backed study of psychological well-being and human flourishing.

We promote the science and practice of positive psychology and its research-based applications and facilitates education, business development, collaboration, and communication among researchers, practitioners, teachers, and students in Canada and around the world.

Through cross-disciplinary collaboration with researchers around the globe we create change to help:

  • Increase resilience
  • Reduce burnout
  • Lead with a growth mindset
  • Increase engagement, motivation and vitality
  • Enhance self-care and mindfulness
  • Achieve personal fulfillment

Our Approach

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