The problem with resilience

Fisher, Jane orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8422-1315 and Jones, Emma orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2153-2781 (2023) The problem with resilience. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing . ISSN 1445-8330

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The term ‘resilience’ has become a fashionable buzzword infiltrating mental health services globally. This latest ad nauseam has become both an irritation and insult to service users and mental health professionals alike. We argue resilience is a flawed Western theory of suffering aligned with neoliberal ideology. It is a double-edged sword indiscriminately yielded at both service users and staff. This paper examines the origins and evolution of resilience, and how mental health services have morphed resilience into a meaningless slogan, causing iatrogenic harm. We call for mental health professionals to consider their use of language and the intended or unintentional meaning behind their choice of words.

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