As discussed in earlier emails, the pandemic, as would be expected, has had a negative impact on mental health. The United States have seen increases in suicidal ideation, substance use, and domestic violence since the Coronavirus changed our lives. In a survey taken at the end of July 2020, 53% of respondents indicated that pandemic worries were harming their mental health.
The good news is that previous research indicates that of those who survive wars, natural disasters, and other stressful events the majority of individuals continue without long-term psychological problems. Experts are seeing that this is seeming true for the current Coronavirus crisis and that resilience plays a part.
Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress. Learning resilience has been found to be a valuable tool in combating depression, anxiety, and traumatic stress. The ability to be resilient can be key to helping individuals through the Coronavirus crisis and its aftermath.
Now more than ever it is important for mental health providers to teach and encourage their clients to practice and master resiliency. Genetics may play a part in resiliency, allowing some individuals to master this skill with ease. For others it can be more difficult. For those who wonder about their ability to become resilient, the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale can be used to assess a person’s resiliency attributes.
There are many articles written that highlight tips and suggestions for building resilience. They all however include the same basic concepts. Below, you will find seven principals listed that can assist individuals in improving their resilience skills.
- Cultivate a belief in your ability to cope; Having a belief that despite hardship one can and will cope. Believing in one’s abilities and resourcefulness.
- Stay connected to sources of support: Building strong, positive relationships can provide needed support during stressful times and help one feel less alone.
- Talk about what you are going through; It is important not to bottle things up and to be able to share difficulties and frustrations at least some of the time.
- Be helpful to others; It can be rewarding and empowering to help others, especially during times where one might feel powerless.
- Activate positive emotions; Find reasons to laugh, feel grateful or appreciative.
- Cultivate an attitude of survivorship: Cultivating an attitude that one can and will survive makes it more of a reality.
- Seek meaning; Finding what one believes in and what gives meaning. Read something on a daily basis to inspire and give hope.
New Bridge Foundation believes in the resilience and ability to grow and change of all of the individuals we serve. If you would like to know more about any of our programs do not hesitate to contact us at 800 785-2400 or 510 548-7270.