What Happened To Resilience Training?

I attend a fair amount of conferences and industry events. Over the last few years, something I’ve heard mentioned often is resilience training. That as an industry we should focus more on resilience training as a method to help injured workers reduce stress, avoid injury and if injured, move through their injury with more focus on returning to maximum function vs. recovery. Yet, upon doing a Google search today, one does not find much published on resilience training within the workers’ compensation space. In fact, I found four notable items: How It’s Going: Workers’ Compensation, Perspective and Resilience a post by Rod Rehm (Feb 2016), coincidentally referring to a post by the late David DePaolo; Can Resilience Training Reduce Workers’ Compensation Claims? a session at SEAK’s Workers’ Compensation Conference (Apr 2016); a 3-part column called “Recalibrating Resilience” by Robert Aurbach at WorkCompCentral: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3; and Employers turn to resilience building programs to cut worker stress (Jun 2015) an article from Business Insurance. Interesting.


So one of two things:

  1. Resilience is just another popular “buzz word” used in the past few years that hasn’t gained any real traction in our industry, or
  2. If there is more being done on resilience training in our industry, it’s not very noticeable. At least not by Google. Hmmm. Note to self.

I’ve been thinking about resilience a lot lately. Earlier this week I came across this article from NPR: Resilience Training Helps Kids With Trauma. I wonder, as a society, why don’t we do more resilience training? My 18-year old daughter asked me to watch 13 Reasons Why, a Netflix series that confronts difficult societal issues in a high school setting including bullying, sexual assault and suicide. I am about half-way through the second season, just released last week. It’s really good. There is a mounting public outcry against the series. Some parents think the assault scenes are too graphic. Or they think it glorifies suicide. Many are asking Netflix to pull the series. I hope they don’t. Pick any school in the USA and you’ll find kids just like the ones depicted in this series, dealing with real-time issues that we are all facing today. Specifically, how one person’s moral compass and action or inaction, or lack of compassion can impact a series of events that lead to death and destruction for many. It demonstrates how (unknowingly) connected we are in life to the people whose paths we cross. It also shows how utterly disconnected we are. Parents to their children. Parents to each other. Kids and their clicks. Friends. Acquaintances. Strangers. And how none of us have the guts to show or talk about our real feelings. It demonstrates how we all suck at communication skills. It illustrates how we all put on a mask. We wear a mask of what we think society expects of us. Confusing.

As we lead into Memorial Weekend, I wish you and your loved ones a safe and peaceful few days. Cherish the time you have with each other. Put your mobile devices down and connect. Really connect. Listen. Listen hard. Show you care. It could mean the world to someone in your life who is hurting and can’t find the words to describe their pain. Let’s all show a little more compassion. More gratitude. Be kind. What are you grateful for? Today and this weekend I am grateful for the courageous men and women who have given their lives so that we can live the way we do.