Volume 34, No. 9 October 2003

Convention news


Teaching children about resilience
Print version: page 44

Psychologists interested in teaching resilience skills to children and helping parents, school staff and others foster these skills attended the 10th Annual Institute for Psychology in the Schools at APA's 2003 Annual Convention.

The institute, titled "Resilience: inoculating children from the inside out," was a feature of the latest focus on children and teenagers in APA's ongoing "Road to Resilience" public education campaign. As part of this campaign, the APA Practice Directorate recently launched its "Resilience for Kids and Teens" initiative (see September Monitor).

In line with the resilience theme, psychologist Dan Dodgen, PhD, emergency management coordinator for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, delivered the institute's keynote address about the federal government's focus on prevention--and resilience as a primary component of prevention. Dodgen spoke on behalf of the Surgeon General's office about the mental health prevention initiatives being coordinated through that office, SAMHSA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other government offices.

Speaking on behalf of APA's resilience efforts were Helen Mitternight, the Practice Directorate's assistant executive director for public relations, and Jennifer Zabriskie of Pacific Visions Communications. They discussed the history and evolution of the directorate's resilience-focused public education campaign and described how psychologists have used APA-generated campaign materials to distribute messages about resilience in their local communities.

Later, Ron Palomares, PhD, the directorate's assistant executive director for psychology in the schools, discussed challenges of using resilience materials in schools and shared ways of overcoming potential obstacles.

Another speaker, Nancy Molitor, PhD, of the Northwestern University Medical School, worked with a group of local 9- and 10-year-olds to help them define resilience, provided tips on how to be resilient and helped them create a collage of ideas on ways people demonstrate resilience. The interactive session provided an example of the kind of community outreach that grassroots psychologists can engage in as part of the "Resilience for Kids and Teens" initiative.


APA members can get copies of resilience brochures at www.apahelpcenter.org.
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© 2003 American Psychological Association