Children and teens are talking more and more about resilience these days. No surprise living in a pandemic and facing global, national, and sometimes family issues. How much more can we ask for than for a conversation around resilience? When we hold back on our emotions, the frustration, anger, and hopelessness that we feel during hard times only makes matters worse. One group of teens took it upon themselves during the pandemic not to give into these emotions. They accepted yet rose above them and created an organization called Child Resilient. They are a remarkable group who thought of ways to reach teens during trying times and to help them rise above adversity.
One highlight of Child Resilient is the MENTALLIGENCE program designed to help teens become aware of different types of therapy and counseling, and how to access these services. Knowledge is power and MENTALLIGENCE also helps to take away the stigma that can be associated with teens seeking mental health services. Students meet virtually over ten weeks during the summer. Participants learn about such services as play therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy, compassion-focused therapy, bibliotherapy, existential therapy, and rational emotive behavioral therapy. As one can tell from MENTALLIGENCE alone, this is a special group of teens dedicated to share what they learned firsthand about resilience and through their own research, and how to make it part of one’s mindset.
Reaching out to others does not stop with MENTALLIGENCE. Child Resilient has hosted fundraisers, such as a bake sale where proceeds went to the Trevor Project, the national organization providing crisis prevention and community services for LGBTQ+ youth. Certainly,a meaningful use of their time!
Latest on the agenda for Child Resilient is the development of a resilience curriculum – Road to Resilience– for schools and other organizations to teach coping strategies based on the 7 C’s model of resilience- competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping, and control. Children will have guided lessons and then be encouraged to express themselves in writing, music, or art.
Child Resilient also has valuable blog posts that benefit teenagers, such as Resilience in the Classroom and The Impact of COVID-19 on Children’s Mental Health. All articles are written by teen members of Child Resilient who are so dedicated to their cause and teen executive board and team directors, all teenagers. All teens! It was my thrill to see a teen board and team when exploring their website, and to be called upon to be on their board of advisors. After reading about the work that Child Resilient does, it was an opportunity that I could not resist, and I wish only further success in their work on resilience! Pay them a visit at-
June Rousso, Ph.D.
Board of Advisors, Child Resilient