The Resilience Manifesto: Draft

There is no money back guarantee with mental health. You think you’ve got it cracked and then something gives. Some mornings (OK, this very morning) I wake up not knowing whether to laugh or cry about a full day ahead championing resilience and the very real possibility of feeling like a fraud at the end of it. Sheesh, the shame of it.


Thing about resilience is that it’s profoundly political. Not just because of the fact that being vulnerable is the last taboo in organised society (anyone who has had a breakdown at work can graphically walk you through any doubts you might have about that statement). It’s political because resilience challenges a world view that life is predetermined by genes, social position and money. As someone on the left I find this one hard to swallow, comfortable in my belief that life is unfair and capitalism is a fast track to losing your mind. Less comfortable is the idea that resilience is stunningly democratic, a complete leveller not restricted to the dis-advantaged or unlucky. We can all lose our resilience.


Bank holiday Mondays, proof.


The trick is not to be thrown by this and to give yourself a break for not being the very model of resilience, rather a genuine piece of human-work-in-progress.


When I say I’m resilient this is what I’m signing up to. You can sign up too, and you don’t even have to sit through a branch meeting on a rainy Tuesday night debating the wording in section 4.



The Resilience Manifesto: Draft

Resilience is the capacity to cope with and adapt to difficult situations, or reality as it is. It is not a character trait or an aspect of personality, rather a capacity and state of mind.


We, the undersigned, believe that:

Resilience is democratic and does not discriminate between people who see themselves as mentally ill and those that don’t. We are all vulnerable to losing our resilience when things get tough;

We are all able to influence our resilience, regardless of wealth, looks and luck in life;

Productive work is central to human happiness and it’s the collective responsibility of gaffers and workers to build resilience in the face of the realities of the recession;

Resilience means being brave and taking on the stigma attached to struggling with life;

We are all in the driving seats of our own resilience but we need each other to really nail it.


We the undersigned commit to try and keep trying, to challenge the wilfully destructive internal and external voices that tell us otherwise.

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