Resiliency Initiative


Resiliency is the capacity of individuals and groups to move forwardwith hope, clarity and effectiveness in the face of the multiple loss, complex grief, and ongoing transition related to HIV/AIDS.

Resiliency Framework : “The Cone”

A theoretical framework which:
  • depicts the interconnectedness of AIDS-related multiple loss and the ways it is complexly layered in the emotional, relational, community and socio-political realities of AIDS workers.
  • isolates these constituent elements, providing a means to individually and collectively
  • identify the impact of loss, recognize coping skills and develop new strategies of resiliency.
  • recognizes that people have considerable motivation and commitment in response to the issues and shared personal and organizational values.

The Resiliency Map

is a 5x5 meter floor cloth which:
  • is a vehicle to engage in a meaningful dialogue on the complex issues that HIV/AIDS raises in our communities – grief, loss, hope, resiliency, capacity, death, sexuality, entitlement,
  • empowerment, rage, and community.
  • allows people to weave a narrative as they literally walk on the map and articulate their journey of stress and coping with HIV/AIDS.
As a community development tool, the Map provides organizations the opportunity to build common language and vision within larger socio-political contexts. It is a vehicle to facilitate meaningful dialogue and assist organizations with assessment, problem solving, program planning, team-building, and staff, board and volunteer self-care.

Negative Impact of Multiple Loss:

  • Increased emotional distress: anger, anxiety, sorrow, survivor guilt
  • Depression, suicidal ideation, sedative use
  • Increased social isolation and stigma
  • Catastrophic thinking and change in worldview

Postive Impact of Multiple Loss:

  • Bereaved and professionals working in a climate of loss are known to be resilient
  • Adaptation to multiple loss
  • Creative coping strategies

Characteristics of Resiliency:

  • Ongoing and consistent self-care
  • Boundary setting – emotional and physical distancing
  • Find meaningful ways to honour the losses
  • Build social supports, relating with at least one person who understands your “lived experience”
  • Resilient personal coping strategies that emphasize: optimism, active problem solving and positive reappraisal
  • Personal growth through spirituality, valuing interpersonal relationships and community rituals
  • Social activism and volunteerism