Mental health, positive psychology and leadership: a positive autoethnographic case study of Claude-Hélène Mayer

Claude Hélène Mayer, Freda Gonot-Schoupinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to meet Dr Claude-Hélène Mayer, Professor in Industrial and Organisational Psychology at the University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa. Design/methodology/approach: This is a qualitative positive autoethnographic case study. Mayer uses positive autoethnography to reflect on mental health, positive psychology and leadership across the life span. The first author also responds to ten questions. Findings: Leadership can be developed and appreciated in others. Leadership can be a positive and transformative force that can assist and contribute to mental health and well-being. Positive leadership can be supported by developing wisdom, creativity, critical thinking and conflict and emotional management. Research limitations/implications: Qualitative research cannot be generalised. Positive autoethnography reflects the views and experiences of the author, in this case a transdisciplinary and transcultural researcher and practitioner. Practical implications: Readers will find a range of practical recommendations as to how to develop mental health and leadership and stay positive in challenging times. Academic literature relating to practical recommendations is also shared. Social implications: Positive leadership has many social implications. It can be a constructive influence that impacts our lives and benefits our personal development, but also one that impacts the lives and benefits the personal development of other people. Originality/value: In this original paper, Dr Claude-Hélène Mayer shares mental health, positive psychology and leadership experiences and recommendations. Leadership skills are of particular value in times of complex change.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMental Health and Social Inclusion
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Autoethnography
  • Leadership
  • Personal development
  • Positive autoethnography
  • Positive psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Health (social science)


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