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Glossary of Terms

Resilience / Resiliency

General public definition

  • Resilience, or resiliency, is currently not listed as a diagnosis in the DSM-5-TR or ICD-11.
  • Resilience is the long-term physical and mental tenacity that people draw on to deal with ongoing adversity.
  • Sometimes referred to as “grit” or “determination,” resilience is believed to be a quality that an individual may naturally possess or develop through work and life experiences.

Academic definition

  • Resilience, or resiliency, is currently not listed as a diagnosis in either the DSM-5-TR or ICD-11.
  • The definition of this term continues to evolve. Resilience is often used along with resistance, recovery, and reconfiguration to describe the potential outcomes and responses to various stressors. Such stressors can be persistent or time-limited.
  • The current emphasis in much of behavioural health and mental health training on enhancing resilience/y may have unintended, negative consequences. If resilience/y training is provided to an individual and they do not sustain a state of resilience/y, that individual could potentially experience blame and shame, leading to additional stigma, feelings of hopelessness, and decreased future help-seeking behaviours. This is the “down side” of over-encouraging individuals to be resilient, placing “too much blame on specific individuals for broad, systemic injustices and disadvantages, and too much responsibility on these individuals to overcome them.”63 Resilience/y programming has emerged through goodwill, but overall, has not been systematically monitored or evaluated.64

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