What is Resilience?
The definition of resilience in general is the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change (Merriam-Webster, 2016). However, there are multiple definitions that can range in their vision of resilience. For instance, CAIR has developed their definition with holistic view and the ultimate goal being reducing health disparities among the American Indian population, which we will also be using for the entirety of this module.
According to CAIR:
The ability to move forward like a willow with renewed energy, with a positive outlook with attainable goals to achieve one’s dreams, and overcome negative life experiences from current and past political and historical events, with the goal to reduce health disparities among American Indians (Sanderson, 2012).
Similar to the varying definitions of resilience, there are several types of resilience, below are just a few.
Types of Resilience:
- Physical: Being physically active, eating healthy, and doing anything that keeps your body physically healthy.
- Spiritual: Practicing your traditional beliefs, culture and customs. As well as maintaining good personal relationships.
- Emotional: You have emotional regulation as in you do not act out of impulses.
- Psychological: You have a a positive outlook on life and believe that you are capable of doing any task handed to you.
- Transformative: Ability to make a change or transform surroundings, behavior, mentality, etc for the greater good of a community or oneself.
Now that you know the definition of and the types of resilience, below is a list of characteristics commonly seen in resilient communities.
Characteristics of a Resilient Community:
- Social Connectedness: Building strong connections within a community through frequent and quality interactions leading to a positive impact on health.
- Pro Social Attitudes and Behaviors: The desire to help those in need, to make contributions to one’s community, and to develop respectful and caring relationships among peers.
- Leadership: Must be shared, comprised of a diverse group, responsive and representative of all.
- Resources: Availability: It is easy to get access, Accessibility: Everyone has access. Quality: Degree of excellence
- Infrastructure: Essential needs met within the community: quality education, safe environment, etc.
- Stable economy: Shopping within the local economy to provide jobs, and increase growth rate.