Resiliency Initiative

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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 5×5 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

We also collaborate with partner agencies to design tools that incorporate the resiliency framework.  See  Supporting Employment Preparedness Collaboration