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Production   /  Duy Huynh

How to Thrive

Positive Psychologist Marie McLeod takes on 12 volunteers with mental health issues to teach them 'how to thrive.'


Impact areas




  • DIRECTOR Duy Huynh

  • PRODUCER Duy Huynh / Andrew Kelly / Jeni McMahon / Executive Producer: Michael Collins



Brash, loud and unconventional positive psychology coach Marie McLeod might be on the cusp of a mental health breakthrough; armed with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the science of wellbeing and a razor sharp wit, Marie agrees to take on 12 volunteers with complex psychological issues as they embark on a quest to learn ‘how to thrive.’

After years of psychological and psychiatric treatments - our volunteers, desperate to find something that works, agree to put themselves on the line. With Marie’s help they navigate the ups and downs of their struggles and attempt to find a better version of themselves.

This is an intimate, heartfelt and deeply enlightening journey that asks whether we can learn to thrive despite struggle and what does it take to be happy?

Support this project

66.73% funded
  • $600,000.00

  • $400,350.00

  • 12

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





MaiTri Foundation $33,000.00
Ryan Cooper Foundation $50,000.00
Ryan Cooper Foundation $50,000.00
Roberts Family Foundation $12,000.00
Linda Schiavone $100.00
Paradice Family Foundation $100,000.00
Joe McShanag $5,000.00
Ryan Cooper Family Foundation $75,000.00
MaiTri Foundation $75,000.00
Anonymous $100.00
Bee kim Tay $100.00
Julie McCoy $50.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

- Mental health disorder is on the rise with 35% of us experiencing some form of psychological distress.
- For 26% of us, this distress is moderate to severe depression. Add to this our increasingly stressful work environments, personal and financial pressures, and a growing reliance on social media & technology means this trend is getting worse by the day.
- Doctors are twice as likely to suffer depression
- 24.8% of doctors report having thoughts of suicide in the previous 12 months. Urgent action is needed.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Our vision is to uncover the science of happiness 
& wellbeing and bring these learning’s to vulnerable groups who desperately need a lifeline. Through our characters we aim to turn the tide on anxiety, depression and suicide in the toughest of worlds, and reveal how all of us can live happier, healthier and more meaningful lives.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

The aim of the film will be to provide tangible solutions to a crippling mental health system desperately in need of solutions. We will demonstrate how positive psychology has been applied in clinical practise to create better systems for human flourishing. There is growing evidence of the power of wellbeing interventions, positive psychology and mindful practise in creating greater resilience and mental health, even when participants are in deep struggle.

The world is increasingly becoming a more anxious, polarised and deficit focused place; and whilst this thinking has it's place, we want to demonstrate a broader picture of how things could be. Based on solid research, we want to demonstrate how to build a culture of thriving; even in the toughest of environments, proving that we can all learn from these approaches for our families, friends, schools, workplaces and perhaps even in our Government discourse.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

The World’s Greatest Researchers
We have interviewed and engaged with a growing number of the world’s leading researchers who have agreed to contribute their expertise including; James Pawelski (Positive Psychology), Kim Cameron (Positive Leadership), Ryan Niemiec (Character Strengths), Michael Steger (Meaning & Purpose), Robert Vallerand (Passion), Lindsey Godwin (Implementer of Appreciative Inquiry), Helen Street (Environmental Context to Wellbeing),

World’s Best Practise
We profile workplaces that have led the way in wellbeing, learnt about their journey and the impact their approaches have had on individuals & their organisations and how these approaches create tangible systemic, quality, interpersonal, cultural and financial benefit to organisations.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

Who benefits?
Whilst the documentary looks at 12 human stories of struggle, we aim to reframe wellbeing strategies to the broader community to create individual wellbeing as well as provide approaches all workplaces can put into practice. These solutions will also be presented in a way that all of us can benefit from, and in doing so, help homes, schools, workplaces and Governments operate with wellbeing front of mind.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

1. Wellbeing will be measured for the organisation and individuals involved in the intervention. Results will be compared to a control group under strict academic research conditions.
2. With each intervention, the documentary will measure the social, cultural, performance and financial indicators to demonstrate efficacy beyond wellbeing.
3. The project will also measure the performance of the film and it's viewership reach as an indicator of success
4. The impact campaign will also be measured in terms of it's reach and engagement with community, workplaces, schools and institutions via screenings, resource downloads, social & tradition media engagement.
5. We will also be monitoring change in public policy, public health and patient outcomes as a measure of success.