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Production   /  Duy Huynh

How to Thrive

Positive Psychotherapist Marie McLeod takes 10 people on an uplifting journey to learn 'How to Thrive'


Impact areas




  • DIRECTOR Duy Huynh

  • PRODUCER Duy Huynh / Andrew Kelly / Executive Producers: Mitzi Goldman, Michael Collins



Is there a secret formula to happiness?

We all struggle sometimes, but what does it mean when we struggle? We all experience strong emotions, but what should we do about them? We all want to be happy - but what is happiness and why is it so elusive?

Positive psycho-therapist Marie McLeod takes on a group of volunteers with mental health issues and offers them interventions grounded in positive psychology, neuroscience and wellbeing science.

The film’s premise is; if we offer these evidence-based approaches to people experiencing struggle; what difference would it make? Is happiness a learnable skill and can we teach people skills to live a happy, healthy and meaningful life?

With unprecedented access; the result is an intimate, heartfelt and hopeful film that offers a rare glimpse into the lives of 10 people who make incredible transforms as a result of learning ‘How to Thrive?’

Support this project

95.41% funded
  • $765,700.00

  • $730,520.00

  • 26

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Michael Drapac $20,000.00
John C Higgins $100,000.00
Roberts Family Foundation $15,000.00
Jim and Ange Andreadis/Superlative Pty Ltd $5,000.00
Anonymous $20.00
Christine Brown $100.00
Joe McShanag $5,000.00
Anonymous $2,500.00
Anonymous $200.00
Natalie Elliott $2,000.00
Offline Donation [Film Victoria] $75,000.00
Offline Donation [Screen Australia] $100,000.00
Kathy Racunica $100.00
Christina Roberts $5,250.00
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

Currently mainstream mental health services that do not prioritise early intervention, proactive or preventative care. At the same time the system is buckling under the weight of demand, and this is before the pandemic. There are simply not enough clinicians to meet demand and mild to moderate symptoms are left untreated even when people make the decision to seek help.

The film explores whether providing positive psychology and wellbeing science will help when people are experiencing suboptimal mental health.

Our film shows that addressing challenges with these optimistic approaches before they become disorders and addressing disorders before they become critical vastly improves mental health outcomes and life trajectory as well as alleviates cost and systemic issues in delivering public health services.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Our vision is to uncover the science of happiness 
& wellbeing and offer these tools and strategies to people experiencing mental health challenges. Our project aims to show the world that happiness is a learnable skill; that the science of wellbeing can be clinically applied regardless of where people are on the mental health continuum.


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

- To normalise mental health struggle and shed light on science based wellbeing solutions.
- To demonstrate that wellbeing is a learnt skill.
- To make wellbeing literacy well understood and universally practised.
- To inspire hope, transformation and engagement in better mental health practices.
- To complement and evolve mental health service delivery models to include positive psychology and wellbeing interventions.

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 this documentary achieve its outcomes?

For the participants, this will be a personal and heartfelt journey. Having access to the world's best science on wellbeing, they will connect us to the impact of the positive psychology theory, practise, tools and interventions.

An impact campaign will provide resources to the community, workplaces, schools and community groups to build better systems for wellbeing and connect audiences to the How to Thrive Movement.

As a part of our impact strategy, we will be building a measurement App to engage viewers in daily or weekly activity that will boost their wellbeing, based on the latest research science. This work will be done in collaboration with Melbourne University.


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 10 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.