Educational or Curriculum

The Aussie Optimism: Positive Thinking Skills Program (AOP-PTS)

Initiative Description: The Aussie Optimism: Positive Thinking Skills Program (AOP-PTS) is an innovative curriculum-based mental health promotion program based on cognitive and behavioral strategies. The intervention group received the program implemented by teachers and the control group received their regular Health Education curriculum. Sessions focused on identifying thoughts and feelings, exploring the connection between thoughts, feelings and behaviors, evaluating and challenging thoughts, learning to think more accurately and positively, learning about relaxation and distraction along with the scheduling of pleasurable events, and constructing a fear hierarchy. Throughout the sessions, cognitive and behavioral skills were taught through games and activities.

Study Results: Reduced depression symptoms and emotional difficulties.

Reference: Rooney, R., Hassan, S., Kane, R., Roberts, C. M., & Nesa, M. (2013). Reducing depression in 9–10 year old children in low SES schools: A longitudinal universal randomized controlled trial. Behavior Research and Therapy, 51(12), 845–854.

Level of Evidence: 3 out of 5 stars Very Good