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Building Resilience What is it and what builds it. Ed Sipler South Eastern Trust February, 2104. A way of working together…. What ground rules can we agree on?. What ground rules can we agree on?. There is no health without mental health

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building resilience what is it and what builds it

Building ResilienceWhat is it and what builds it

Ed Sipler

South Eastern Trust

February, 2104

a way of working together
A way of working together…

What ground rules can we agree on?

What ground rules can we agree on?

why is resilience and mental health important
There is no health without mental health

By 2020 mental disorders are expected to be second only to heart disease as a leading source of disease.

Mental health is the emotional and spiritual resilience which enables us to enjoy life and to survive pain, disappointments and sadness. It is a positive sense of well being and an underlying belief in our own and others dignity and worth.

NI Promoting Mental Health Strategy

Why is resilience and mental health important?
what do you think resilience means
What do you think resilience means?
  • The word “resilience” is derived from the Latin verb “salire,” which means to jump. The prefix “re-“ means “back” or “again.” Thus, “resilience” is literally about jumping back.


The capacity for healthy development and successful learning in spite of challenges.”

( B Benard )

Resilience is the capacity to spring back, rebound, successfully adapt in the face of adversity and develop social, academic, and vocational competence despite being exposed to extreme stress or simply to the stress that is inherent in today’s world. (Henderson and Milstein, 1996)

the challenge of promoting resilience
The challenge of promoting resilience

While our understanding of processes that promote resilience is extensive, we need a better range of practical applications.

A ray of hope

One of the most important thing things that came out of the years of research is that “there is no age that has a monopoly on risks and no age beyond which it is too late to intervene”. (Rutter 2000)

are we born with resilience or is it shaped
Risk factors are cumulative

Transition points are both threats and opportunities

Acute stresses are usually less harmful than chronic ones

Building our strengths or assets

Are we born with resilience or is it shaped?
road to resilience models of building resiliency
Road to resilience…Models of building resiliency

The Road to Resilience

What we do does matter.

Resilience can be built

We just need to know how


Factors that build resilience

Adopted from Resiliency in Schools Making it happen for Students and Educators, Henderson and Milstein 1996



& Bonding


For Meaningful


Set and




Set Clear,









the 7 c s kenneth ginsburg







The 7 C’S Kenneth Ginsburg
building blocks of resilience i have i am i can
Building blocks of resilience I have, I am , I can
  • I HAVE
  • I AM:
  • I CAN
  • Supports and supportive people around each individual to promote resilience
  • Inner strengths of confidence, self-esteem, and responsibility
  • Use and develop skills/make use of support

Grotberg, E. (1997) ‘The international resilience project’.

strengths related to resilience

Strengths related to resilience

Being in charge of our emotions

Create thinking time

Analyzing the cause of problems

Maintaining realistic optimism

Having empathy for others

Believing in our own competence

Reaching out

Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatte (2003)The Resilience Factor

building skills that build resilience low intensity cbt tools build on skills found in insync
Building resilience thinking

Self Calming

Deep core beliefs

Self care- Feeling positive in the midst of stress

Using support

Principles of coping

Action plan

Building skills that build resilience- Low Intensity CBT Tools: Build on skills found in INSYNC
how our thinking manages our emotions
How our thinking manages our emotions



Calm times

Strong emotions

our thinking affects what we feel and do
Our Thinking Affects What We Feel and Do

Something happens. We think about it. We respond.

Events Thoughts Response

To help us, let’s think of it as learning our ABC’S:

  • (A) Something bad happens (Adversity)
  • (B) We have certain thoughts (Beliefs)
  • (C) Feelings/behaviour follow (Consequences )
what influences our thinking
What influences our thinking?

Unhelpful thinking habits that are automatic

Style of explaining things

Emotional and physical well being

Core beliefs about ourselves and the world.

(Rules, demands, assumptions)


How can we deal with stress? It is more than just “think positive”. It is about recognizing our feelings and developing “good thinking skills”

why the abc s are so important the b c connections
Why the ABC’s are so important:The B/C connections


  • Feeling attacked, our rights violated… Anger
  • Loss or loss of self worth ……… Sadness
  • Future threat …………………… Fear. Anxiety
  • Comparing yourself others neg Embarrassment
  • Hurting someone else…………… Guilt

The beliefs (our thinking) matter because they will shape the intensity of our feelings and what we do. When we are more resilient we are not saying we don’t have strong feelings… We are able to regulate and control them to respond to situations in ways that work better for us.

All or nothing thinking Jumping to conclusionsOvergeneralisingMaking a mountain out of a mole hillEmotional reasoning Should Statements Taking things personallyWishful thinkingMental filterDiscounting the positive

Have we learned to view life and every day situations with negative goggles on?

Ten Common Unhelpful Thinking Habits

the change skills
The change skills

Catching that unhelpful, initial reaction

Putting on the brakes. Stopping that chain of unhelpful self talk

Create thinking time. Examine what is really going on

Being flexible and creative in your thinking. Challenging negative thinking Substitute more reasonable thinking

looking after yourself so what is stress
Looking After YourselfSo what is stress?

Stress is the perceptionthat something is more of a problem than the resources you have for coping with it.

Stress puts your well being at risk.

using positive emotions in the midst of stress
Using positive emotions in the midst of stress

1. Notice positive things

2. Express these positive things

3. Gratitude

4. Mindfulness

5. Positive rethinking

6. Focus on your strengths

7. Attainable goals

8. Acts of kindness

our other work
Our other work

Self help materials for adults and young people affected by substance misuse in the family

Self help material to help people look at their drinking or drug use

Self help material to help people change behaviour

All these resources can be found on the South Eastern Trust web site the under healthy living tab

thanks for having me here today
Thanks for having me here today

“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.”

Dr. Michael McGriffy

[email protected]