International Day of Happiness

Saturday, March 20, 2021

The General Assembly of the United Nations has proclaimed the 20 March the International Day of Happiness, recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals worldwide. Children’s happiness and well-being are key in substance use prevention, and one of the core messages of ‘Listen First’. Children and youth who are listened to and who receive positive attention from an early age are less likely to develop mental health issues. And young people who have adults in their life that actively listen to them, and are genuinely interested in their life experiences, are less likely to get involved in substance use and other risky behavior later in life.

To mark this day, ‘Listen First’ produced a new video on the ‘Happiness of Care’ to celebrate families around the globe.  

We also spoke with Dr. Aala El-Khani, a humanitarian psychologist with vast experience in family skills interventions for families in challenged and low resource settings. She reiterated ‘Listen First’s message for raising happy children:

“While there isn't a set recipe for raising happy, healthy children,  caregivers can do some key things. They map out against the ten 'Listen First' messages, such as spending time with your child, both listening and talking, but also importantly playing with them.”

Read her interview here.

Learn more about the science behind ‘Listen First’ here.

Made possible with the generous support of France.