The Institute of Wellbeing
“The future of the nation lies in the hands of our younger generation, it is therefore crucial that they live up to our high expectations and ensure the continued well-being of the people and security of the nation.”
– His Majesty the Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, Founder, Bhutan Youth Development Fund
The Institute of Well-being is a visionary initiative of Her Majesty Gyalyum Tseyring Pem Wangchuck, the President of the Bhutan Youth Development Fund. The Institute of Well-being provides programs for the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders through the modeling and promotion of a holistic education process.
- Vision: To inspire and nurture the full potential of Bhutanese youth
- Mission: To model and demonstrate humane education and living, founded on a real understanding of Gross National Happiness (GNH) values
Located within Tshaluna Valley at the southwestern end of the renowned Jigme Dorji National Park, the Institute offers a variety of facilities and services for drug dependent young people and other practitioners. To address the growing challenge of substance use across Bhutan, the Institute also trains and supports organizations involved in substance use treatment and that aspire to develop GNH-inspired conditions for their communities. It also offers the perfect place for organizations and individuals to meet for retreat, contemplation and rejuvenation. All programs of the Institute are based on the understanding that human beings seek happiness in continuity.
The Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Substance Use Disorders
The Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre has the following objectives:
- To provide quality treatment and rehabilitation services to all drug and alcohol dependent young people, particularly those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds
- To offer support and counseling to families affected by substance use disorders
- To prepare drug and alcohol dependent young people for reintegration into society
At this Centre, the three-month, holistic GNH-inspired treatment and rehabilitation program, known as the “Happiness Model”, includes the following therapeutic components:
- Positive Psychology and Human Development
- Mindfulness and Contemplative Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy
- Family and Systemic Therapy
- Nature-Guided Therapy (Ecotherapy)
In addition to this core treatment and rehabilitation program, the Institute trains other service providers and rehabilitation centres to offer the Happiness Model at scale and improve the lives of thousands more young people dependent on substances.
The Centre for Skills Development and Re-integration
The Centre for Skills Development and the Re-integration focuses on upskilling recovering substance users and reintegrating them into society as productive citizens. The skills development at the Centre happens through a Farmer+ program, which provides support to youth and recovering substance users who experience difficulty in finding employment after the treatment and rehabilitation program.
The Farmer+ program envisions these youth taking up farming and other traditional Bhutanese occupations as a meaningful way of life. The livelihood and skills development areas include ecotourism, cco-friendly construction of houses, Bhutanese art and crafts, and other value-added skills such as food processing.
The overall objective of the Farmer+ program is to empower the young people to:
- Gain a holistic understanding of themselves and harmonious participation in the larger natural order
- Live meaningful lives, expressing their creativity and talents as fully contributing members of their communities
The Centre for Contemplative Education and Research
The Centre for Contemplative Education and Research offers a variety of flexible courses in GNH values and principles for all individuals and organizations. The Institute is a community of learners. All learning is based on head, heart, and hands, learning by doing, and introspection. The Centre houses:
- A Teacher Development Unit, which develops the capacity of facilitators and educators who can share GNH values across Bhutan and the world.
- A Research Unit which conducts innovative research on the practice of GNH values and uses its findings to advance GNH values across contexts.
- Facilities and experiences for the practice of GNH values, including: furnished rental apartments, contemplation hall for mindfulness practices, yoga classes, short trails for nature walks, eco-relaxation in the serene woods of Chimethangkha and Tsheluna
The Institute of Well-being is supported by trustees consisting of individuals and families who support the work of Institute. Trustees are invited to make continual donations on a one-time, monthly or annual basis. Trustees will be informed and included in all the Institute’s major events and have their arrangements looked after. The Trust Fund will support the costs of the courses and no fees will be charged for theses courses to make them accessible to all. However, donations will be accepted from those who take the courses, which will build up the Trust Fund over the long term.
“If we can believe in the extraordinary potential of simple human values then we can be the generation that made the difference – the generation with a conscience – the generation that the world has waited for, for so long.”
– His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the King of Bhutan, Convocation of the University of Calcutta, October, 5, 2010.
Institute of Well-being
Chime Thangkha, Tsheluna, Thimphu, Bhutan
Tel:+975 77108592 / 02 327483