A Second Pandemic

Sep 2, 2021

The pandemic has challenged each of us in the most fundamental ways. Ways that are necessary for stability and security. It has challenged our sense of safety: how far should I stand from this person? Am I safe in this mask? Will I be able to pay for the essentials? It has challenged our need for relationship: how long will it be before I can safely be around my grandma,? I haven’t seen my best friend face-to-face for almost a year. Will being so isolated harm my child’s ability to make friends? It has challenged our economic security: Can I pay my bills? What if I lose my job? Should we downsize?

Health experts are saying that the mental health issues that have resulted from the COVID months of fear, isolation, and for many, lack of employment, are a second pandemic. And, added to the above are the ways that our country’s systemic inequality manifests and heightens these stressors for so many.

The Social Resilience Model is well-suited to these challenging times. It is practical and accessible across diverse communities. SRM’s neuroscience concepts and skills can contribute not only to improved mental health but physical health as well. Research has confirmed that the brain and the immune system interact routinely.

The timing of the completion of two of TGW’s largest SRM Train the Trainer programs has put over 90 new SRM trainers into Massachusetts and Ohio. The timing couldn’t be better.

The recent devastating earthquake in Haiti and the hurricanes that hit the Gulf coast, particularly New Orleans, have brought back memories of our work in both places almost a decade earlier. TGW is working to put funding together to take teams into Haiti once camps have been set up for the thousands displaced by the quake. We also will be offering our work to Afghan refugees arriving in the New York area.

There are no lack of challenges facing each of us as we see the effects of climate change on the ferocity of weather and we experience the divisiveness throughout our country stoked by misleading and false information. The United States is a country that is out of its Resilient Zone. SRM’s neuroscience foundation highlights what each of us needs in order to be our better selves….a sense of safety and connection to nourishing relationships. Our training programs help individuals and groups learn to strengthen both of these essential qualities. The good news is that we are each wired with the potential for resilience. Now we need to harness this potential and put it to use on a large scale to build a more resilient country.

I’ll close this entry with a sweet piece by a writer unknown to me but greatly appreciated:

             Surely something wonderful is sheltered inside you. I say this with all confidence,  because I happen to believe we are all walking repositories of buried treasure. I believe this is one of the oldest and most generous tricks the universe plays on us human beings, both for its own amusement and for ours: The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt to uncover those jewels – that’s creative living.

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We envision a world where it is the norm, rather than the exception, for human beings to live into their full potential and make life-affirming contributions to the whole.

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