Resilience is a key factor in protecting and promoting good mental health. It is the quality of being able to deal with the ups and downs of life, and is based on self-esteem.

"Resilience is important because it is part of achieving good health and wellbeing for all children and young people. It is often described as supporting young people's ability to bounce back.

Barnardos, 2009

We can look into many different factors that affect resilience:

  • Secure early attachments
  • Confidence of being loved and valued by one’s family and friends
  • Clear sense of self-identity (personal, cultural and spiritual)
  • Sense of self-efficacy (being able to make decisions and act independently)
  • Confidence to set goals and attempt to achieve them
   The Resilient Classroom

Mental Health and Resilient Therapy Toolkit

The Mental Health and the Resilient Therapy Toolkit book is written by young people, for any parent or carer who is at all concerned about the mental health of their child but this is also really useful for school staff to use. (Free download)

What the evidence says…


In order for students to feel more resilient, basic structures need to be put in place. In this context, such structures are translated as: a safe and comfortable school and tutor/classroom; sufficient sleep (students who have slept well will feel more alert and motivated to learn) and a healthy diet (that can improve behaviour, mood and ability to learn).

If these basic structures are in place, then students will feel a greater sense of security and peace of mind and can better deal with the challenges of school life. Although some of these improvements may seem beyond the reach of ‘school duty’ and are linked to family life and social circumstances, they can still be addressed through taking an interest or exploring sensitively with students and could make significant changes to your student’s wellbeing and enhance their ability to learn.


Belonging is an important aspect of resilience-building. When a student has good relationships in their life, and they belong to a group that accept them as they are, this helps create a good sense of self and identity. Schools can help by trying to encourage good relationships with friends, teachers and other members of staff. It is important that students have somewhere they feel they belong (clubs, activities and favourite places in school) and that they meet people who are good influences, who can help them make sense of where they have come from and their place in the world.

It is really important for the student to find something they are good at, an activity or a talent, a way of expressing themselves, whether it’s sport, music, writing, helping out in the library… it can be almost anything. The important thing is that being part of a group where they do or talk this activity can have a positive effect.


Learning is a fundamental part of the student’s ability to function successfully in the world. Helping your students to develop talents, interests and life skills, encouraging them to learn how to cope, how to express their emotions, understand boundaries and have aspirations, are crucial parts of helping them become more resilient. Helping your student have life plans, visions and getting organised allows them to develop new skills that are an essential part of increasing their learning ability.


Coping helps the student build up a particular set of skills to help them with the challenges of everyday life. Encouraging the student to cope helps them develop a sense of bravery, an ability to solve problems, to stand up for their own views and beliefs, foster interests and make themselves feel better.

Core self

Core self focuses on the importance of the student’s understanding of who they are and their own personal strengths. Encouraging the student to put themselves into other people’s shoes and be sensitive to how to
other people feel, can help raise awareness of how they feel and how their behaviour can affect other people’s feelings. It is important to help them be self-aware and take responsibility for themselves and their behaviour towards others, whilst at the same time believing in them. Help them try out different things and they might find something they are talented at.


   What is Academic Resilience?

Take a look at the film by using the button below which features Hove Park School (Secondary) in Brighton where the Resilient Classroom resource was developed as part of a whole school approach to promoting resilience.

   Young Minds Resilience Framework

The Resilience Framework summaries a set of ideas and practices that promote resilience. These are under 5 concepts; basics, belonging, learning, coping and core self. It is based on a body of research and practice development called Resilient Therapy (RT). It can be used to pick out where a young person is, and plan the next move towards developing their resilience. The different areas of the Resilience Framework are not designed to be used as a step-by-step guide one after the other, but rather can be called upon when needed and several can be used at the same time.

You can find the framework here -