The Palmdale City Council has approved a training and coaching program that pairs wellbeing science as the strategy for local change leaders to work together on a robust solution to the health and economic challenges facing many communities such as Palmdale.

At its May meeting, the Council voted to contract with The Wellbeing Lab, a global institute, to create a regional wellbeing coalition. The coalition will be a formal alliance of organizations in the region that come together around a common goal of creating more wellbeing.

“Wellbeing is our ability to feel good and function effectively, and involves learning scientifically informed tools and strategies to navigate the ups and downs of life better,” said Palmdale Mayor Steve Hofbauer.

The work will be led on the ground by Louis Alloro and Dr. Talma Schultz who will lead a Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology (CAPP) program for representatives of business, education, religion, criminal justice, media, healthcare, aerospace, and other parts of community life like neighbor and grassroots groups, who can learn a common language and set of tools around how to create more wellbeing in the Antelope Valley.

There are many benefits to wellbeing and a healthy frame of mind, including being more energized and taking on every task with high energy and determination. Productivity and efficiency may be increased and participants may better enjoy physical activities because they are in a fit condition.

Participants may also think more clearly because a healthy mind and body can help them solve problems more quickly. There are spiritual health benefits as well. This condition can bring a big impact on life, as Alloro says participants increasingly feel that they are blessed by God.

“The work that will be done in Palmdale is the first of its kind in California to bring applied positive psychology, the science of human wellbeing at scale,” said Mayor Pro Tem Laura Bettencourt.

Palmdale City Manager J.J. Murphy cited the program as a beneficial way to help people recover from the pandemic.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, every aspect of our lives has changed drastically, and this has had a huge impact on overall mental health,” Murphy said. “As part of our Palmdale Cares initiative, we have made mental health a top priority by providing monthly town halls and access to resources. With the help of the Wellbeing Lab, we will use applied positive psychology as the framework for a Leadership Antelope Valley class with the goal of bringing a common language and set of wellbeing tools to Palmdale residents and interested regional partners.”

To do this, Palmdale will recruit 50 people from around the Antelope Valley to participate in a six-month Certification in Applied Positive Psychology program. These participants will be the first members of a regional wellbeing coalition. Undergoing the training together will bring focus to the mental health, homelessness, and other challenges the region faces with greater vision and vitality.

Participants will agree to a six-month commitment that includes a formal, 90-minute class per week. Each month there will also be a day-and-a-half class. Each participant will design and implement a community impact project applying some of what they are learning back within their spheres of influence.

“We’re going to have an application process to ensure that we have a diverse representation across the community,” Murphy said.

Applications will open on June 21 for a class scheduled to run Aug. through Jan. For more information, please contact Management Analyst Nardy Lopez at (661) 267-5177 or nlopez@cityofpalmdale.org.