Project Resilience: A community-based Resilience Initiative to engage rural adolescents towards healthy functioning

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2018-11-08
Authors
Hill, Anthony
Kirven, Joshua
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Project Resilience: A community-based Resilience Initiative to engage rural adolescents towards healthy functioning

Project Resilience, a community-based resilience initiative was developed to address public concern. In the first part of the year of 2012 in a rural Mid-Atlantic state, eight adolescents and young adults died by suicide. Concerned public officials asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assist with the epidemiologic investigation of these deaths. Mental health problems were found to be a significant contributing factor to the fatal suicide attempts. The scope of this paper will explore the potential influence of rural stress, trauma and violence among adolescents and the lack of access to care and mental health services as being a relevant factor. Project Resilience will be introduced in exploring how this community resilience model can help prepare youth and young adults to utilize inner strengths and mobilize family, community, and cultural resources when faced with adversity. Grounded in an ecological perspective, Project Resilience is a strengths-based initiative which incorporates traditional counseling and psychotherapy techniques. Project Resilience also can minimize barriers associated with seeking mental health services in rural communities, including stigma and limited access to mental health services. Relevant implications and recommendations will be offered on how Project Resilience can be one effective intervention tool in working with this population.

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