Examples of Skill-Building in Positive Supports

Fostering Wellbeing in Ourselves and Others

wellness written on paper with purple flowers in the background

The final skill building activity is focused on fostering wellbeing. Mental health efforts from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) introduce 8 dimensions of wellness that help people to improve the quality of their lives:

  • Emotional: The ability to identify one’s own personal feelings and handle emotions
  • Environmental: The extent to which the places you live, go to school, and/or work are compatible with your preferences and help you connect with the world around you (home, school, work settings, spending time in nature, changing our scenery)
  • Financial: Working at a job that you enjoy and earning enough to survive, managing finances and debt, planning for retirement
  • Intellectual: Activities that keep our brain active (exploring personal interests, educational learning, reading and playing games, and engaging in conversation with others)
  • Occupational: Managing a work-life balance, pride in work accomplishments, positive relationships at work
  • Physical: Taking care of your body and working to achieve optimal health including nutrition, exercise, weight management, ergonomics, tobacco use, disease, disease prevention, etc.
  • Social: Meaningful connections with neighbors and community members, meeting new people, having time set aside to spend quality time with friends and family
  • Spiritual: Exploring your values and finding out more about different spiritual and religious organizations, involvement with others sharing culture and values, taking the time to grow on a spiritual level

In the disability field, the term quality of life domain is commonly used when discussing the different dimensions of wellness. Both sets of definitions are important. Pick the concepts that are most important to the children or adults you support.

The quality of life domains identified by international disability experts are similar to the SAMHSA wellness dimensions. However, the quality of life domains in this section are tailored for the disability field and can be useful when thinking about a person’s health and wellness. These domains include:

  • Emotional Wellbeing – Positive connections, feeling safe, living in predictable and positive setting
  • Interpersonal Relationships – Connecting with friends and experience affection and love at home and in the community
  • Material Wellbeing – Owning items or property, employment and the ability to purchase items, access to events, etc.
  • Personal Development – Growing as a person both in education and experience
  • Physical Wellbeing – Being able to maintain optimal health and mobility
  • Self-Determination –Making important life decisions and setting life goals
  • Social Inclusion – Experiencing meaningful connections with other people and feeling included as part of a community
  • Rights – Being able to vote and engage in civic responsibilities, experience privacy and freedom, access to legal support
Quality of Life typed on a piece of paper

Visit the Module 3 Resource Page for more resources in this area