“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good” – Elizabeth Edwards – American attorney, author & health care activist
Here, in early 2022, most of us can attest to having experienced an array of stressors that have almost certainly put our resilience to the test. We have endured the devastating effects of a global pandemic, which wreaked havoc on our lives and the lives of our friends, families and colleagues, our economy, our livelihoods, and our ability to connect with people and the world around us. It was an unexpected and relentless period of adjusting to isolation, increased levels of stress, anxiety, depression and the ever-present, gnawing fear of losing our lives or our loved ones. Add to this the widespread incidents of social unrest which gripped our nation in mid-2021, ripping holes in the already fragile fabric of our society, ongoing concerns around failing infrastructure, loadshedding, high levels of corruption with low levels of accountability from our political leaders, rising unemployment levels, the war in the Ukraine, and most recently the floods in KZN, which left countless people deceased or homeless.
So where, when and how does it all end? At what point does the sun start shining on us again? And will this happen before we – collectively and individually – start crumbling under the strain of crisis upon crisis hitting us? How long can we continue being resilient? While it is impossible to answer these questions, it is however time for us to acknowledge just how strong and resilient we have been in recent times, and to give ourselves credit for soldiering through one of the most challenging periods of the past century.
The SA Federation for Mental Health has published its Annual Report for the 2021-2022 financial year. To read more about how we have shown resilience, please visit page 7 of the SAFMH Annual Report.