Keyes argues that the quality of life should be as important as the quantity — that the public health focus needs to shift from illness and disease to health and well being. He calls for a complementary approach to healthcare, one that integrates behavioral and social sciences into medicine and public health.
An internationally known expert on mental health, Keyes helped conceptualize the principles for a new field known as positive psychology, the scientific study of optimal human functioning. Keyes is one of a select group of scholars striving to shift the emphasis of psychology from fixing what is wrong with people to developing what is right.
His work is being applied to better understand resilience and prevention of mental illness, and informs the growing healthcare approach called “Predictive Health,” which seeks to map and monitor the presence of positive physical and mental health and to develop and apply novel responses to correct early deviations in order to maintain health and limit disease and illness.