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What is Resiliency?

Resilience is about bouncing back from stressful situations and recovering quickly from difficulties. It is overcoming problems through the use of different techniques.

Increasing and strengthening the capacity to deal with life’s challenges is an important component towards achieving and sustaining safe working practices and a zero incident industry.

Resiliency has been recognised as an important part of understanding why some people can go through adverse events and bounce back, while others suffer debilitating effects including the onset of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

According to experts in the field, exposure to potentially traumatic events does not itself predict future suffering. The potential of the negative event to be traumatic is contingent to the individual’s perception and meaning of the event (G.Bonnano & A.D. Mancini,2009).

Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy or significant stressful events. Most people cope effectively to adversity, while others have a difficult time recovering and returning to functional levels. Response to negative events can vary dependent on a number of factors. Differences in perception, positive emotions, flexible adaptation mechanisms, coping skills etc can allow a person to have enhanced coping mechanisms.

A number of factors contribute to resiliency including:

• Positive, caring and supportive relationships

• The capacity to make realistic plans and realise them

• Effective communication skills and problem solving coping mechanisms

• Positive emotional experiences, including laughter. Research has shown that positive emotional experiences can reduce levels of stress following loss (Tugade & Fredrickson,2004)

• Positive memories and social support; lack of social support is among the strongest predictors of PTSD following exposure to trauma (Brewin, .2000)

Developing resilience is a personal journey therefore not all skills and techniques will be equally helpful for all. Individual differences, cultural differences and perceptual differences can mitigate our response to negative events as well as our adaptation to them.


Ways to Build Resilience

·       Engage in warm and caring interpersonal relationships

·       Avoid seeing crisis as an insurmountable problem. Although we cannot change the events, we can change our perception, the way we interpret and respond to these events

·       Practice acceptance: acceptance empowers us to focus on circumstances that we can alter instead of feeling stuck in situations that we cannot change

·       Develop realistic and attainable goals that are consistent with the direction you want to go in life

·       Trust your inner voice and feel confident in your problem solving abilities

·       Practice self-growth; some people find they have grown as result of the experienced event or tragedy

·       Engage in positive behaviours and activities that are relaxing and joyful

·       Embrace meditation and spirituality: such practices often help people to find hope again and build connections

• Maintain an optimistic outlook in life: visualise what you want in the future rather than ruminating about what happened in the past

Resilience involves flexibility in thinking, openness to self-awareness and letting go of negative feelings.

In continuing your journey to healing from trauma and negative events, it is important to remember that nurturing yourself, practicing self-acceptance and rebuilding trust in life is a process that requires time, patience and optimism.

Resilience Training

To help support the global seafaring community through theses challenging times Crew Health Partners Marlins are offering free access to 5 titles within their Resilience Programme for companies employing seafarers. These courses are designed to help seafarers enhance their personal resilience by introducing them to a number of self-help techniques.

1. Keep Things in Perspective

2. Change Is Part of Living

3. Take Care of Yourself

4. Maintaining a Hopeful Outlook

5. Gratitude

The Resilience Programme focusses on the enhancement of workplace wellbeing and business performance through improving personal and team resilience, rather than managing stress. Each course explores a different natural capacity to deal with life’s challenges – both in and outside of work. Interested parties should contact Marlins for more details –

Marlins full suite of Resilience training resources, which consists of 10 e-learning courses accompanied with facilitator notes to help trainers or officers on board deliver workshops, can be found here:

This advice was compiled with the help of our psychological and psychometric screening partners I.M.E.Q. and e-learning training partners Marlins.

You can watch the IMEQ video on Resilience at

For further information on Marlin’s training modules in Crew Wellbeing and Resilience please visit their website e-programme/ or contact Marlins direct on

UK P&I Club are contributing Loss Prevention and Crew Health materials for the IMEQ Seafarers App as part of our established partnership. For further information on the UK P&I Club Loss Prevention and Crew Health activities please see



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