Building resilience
and mental wellbeing for children and young people

The Resilience Framework and Resilient Moves 

The Resilience Framework visually shows how the creators have split their ideas under five headings: Basics, Belonging, Learning, Coping and Core Self - to help anyone think strategically and practically about doing things resiliently. Within each of these headings, is a selection of evidence-based ideas, to draw on when trying to make a resilient move with a child or young person. In a nutshell, they include:

BASICS - The basic things we need in life to get by

BELONGING - Putting good relationships at the heart of things

LEARNING – The importance of finding out about and discovering new things, noticing our achievements, and developing new skills

COPING - Things that can help us when times are tough

CORE SELF - Focus on our inner worlds – those thoughts and beliefs we have about ourselves, and the ability to know who we are 

The Noble Truths

Accepting – starting with exactly where a child or family are at, even if it means being at a very sore point, returning to ‘unconditional positive regard’, which means trying not to judge people and appreciating them for their basic humanity come what may.

Conserving – holding onto anything good that has happened up until now and building on it. When there is so much difficulty around, ‘preserving’ the little positive that there is becomes even more precious.

Commitment – staying in there and being explicit about what your commitment can be. Being realistic about what’s doable and not giving up or expecting things to change overnight.

Enlisting – seeking others to help and moving on from those who might have let us down in the past, noticing that we may not be enough or we may be too much.

What is a Resilient Move?

A resilient move is an everyday action that can help build resilience. Pupils can start anywhere on the framework, and do not have to do it in any particular order, nor have to do all the resilient moves. They might find that there is a chain reaction, where they work on one resilient move and find that they have achieved lots of others in the process.

We encourage schools, youth clubs and other organisations to create as many opportunities as possible for people to make resilient moves as part of a whole school, trauma informed, relational approach to wellbeing.

Resilience and mental health isn’t only about what a pupil can do for themselves but is also down to the opportunities that they have in life. We can help improve pupils’ mental health by improving opportunities, particularly for those who currently have fewer than others. 

A description of Resilient Moves for children and young people

Recommended Reading and Resources 

Page last updated: 28 December 2022

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