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C2 Module 2.2

Developing resilience

Before You Begin

What are the qualities of a resilient person?

Students who are more resilient are better able to stay on track with the biological, psychological and social demands of adolescence. Resilience is associated with better academic performance and school behaviour.

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It is important to build resilience skills during adolescence – but how can schools strengthen student resilience?

Why is resilience important during adolescence?

The transition from being a child to an adolescent to a young adult occurs over a relatively short period of time and the rapid changes in physical, psychological and social development presents with a number of challenges. Students who are more resilient are better able to stay on track with the demands of adolescence.

Being resilient is also associated with better academic performance and school behaviour and over the longer term is associated with fewer mental health difficulties and greater life opportunities.

How schools can strengthen student resilience

Schools are places where young people spend a great deal of their time, and as such they play a key role in the development of students’ resilience.

MindMatters advocates the use of evidence-informed structured programs to develop student knowledge and skills for resilience. Furthermore, schools can help young people to generalise and reinforce these skills outside program sessions by embedding these processes and skills in:

  • every day and incidental interactions with students
  • regular academic curriculum
  • support systems, e.g. learning support networks, home room structures, provision of school counsellors
  • student leadership and participation processes (see Module 2.4 Empowering students)
  • the development of relationships with peers and staff (see Module 1.4 Relationships and belonging)
  • regular feedback to students.

Programs currently used in secondary schools

Below are some of the main resilience programs currently being used by secondary schools.

How can you support the young people in your school to develop their resilience?

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NEXT STEPS

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FURTHER RESOURCES