We are looking at a number of innovative projects in Manchester to help and encourage people to be more resilient to the often challenging circumstances in which they live.
This has attracted some misinformed hostility from some of the media, where they've criticised us for organising "happiness lessons" for youngsters. But it's much more than that. We want Manchester to be a healthy, green and safe city where people are happy to live. And although life is never going to be perfect, if we can teach people to deal with challenges then it's a big step along the way. So if people, of all ages, have processes and mechanisms to deal with life when things aren't going so well, it's going to help them get more out of life and play a more full role in building stronger communities. We're just at the first stage of this work and we're involved in some pilot projects with other local authorities. It's not just for children; we'll be supporting adults as well starting with older people suffering from isolation and consequent depression, part of Manchester valuing older people. So far it's looking good. I just wish we could make some journalists receptive to embracing new ideas. Or perhaps they would prefer people to be unhappy!