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Last modified: Tuesday, 16-May-2017 15:48:54 EDT

University Counseling Center (UCC)

Resilience in a time of war

It may seem like the war has nothing to do with you. On the other hand, the news can seem overwhelming. You may have a friend in ROTC or you may have a relative in the military. And, with the threat of terrorism, the war can get close to home pretty quickly. Is there something you can do to prepare mentally? The good news is that you can learn the skills of resilience - the ability to adapt well in the face of hard times - disasters like hurricanes; earthquakes; tragedy; threats; or high stress of any kind. Here are some tips to help you learn resilience. Please keep in mind that each person's journey along the road to resilience will be different - what works for you may not work for your friends.

10 Tips for learning resilence

You can learn resilience. But just because you learn resilience doesn't mean you won't feel stressed or anxious. You might have times when you aren't happy - and that's OK. Resilience is a journey, and each person will take his or her own time along the way. You may benefit from some of the resilience tips above, while some of your friends may benefit from others. The skills of resilience will be useful even after war, and they are good skills to have every day.

Places to look for additional help

Getting help when you need it is crucial in building resilience. Beyond caring family members and friends, people often find it helpful to turn to:

Support groups. Sharing information, ideas and emotions help group members know they're not alone in experiencing difficulty.

Books and other publications by people who have survived a war can motivate readers to find a strategy that might work for them personally.

Online resources. Information on the Web can be a helpful source of ideas, though the quality of the information can vary. For many, using their own resources and the kinds of help listed above may be sufficient for building resilience in a time of war. At times, however, an individual might get stuck or have difficulty making progress on the road to resilience.

A licensed mental health professional such as a psychologist can assist people in developing an appropriate strategy for moving forward. It's important to get professional help if you struggle through daily living.

Sections taken from American Psychological Association brochure "Resilience in a Time of War."
For a list of contributors, please go to the APA web site -
Compiled by Marcia Eisenberg for the University Counseling Center