The way a child responds to a traumatic event can affect a child’s future and well-being. The RPA Resiliency Collective is committed to reducing the exposure to and impact of trauma by increasing resiliency of youth and families in the City of Roanoke.

What is Trauma?

An event, series of events, or situation that a person experiences that is physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening. Events like this can have long-lasting effects including the development of drug addiction, mental health problems like depression and anxiety and medical issues like heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure to name a few.

Traumatic events that take place during childhood are referred to as Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs) and can affect a person’s health in adulthood. Building resiliency can reduce the effects of  ACEs.

How do Children Build Resilience?

Children build resilience through creative play and social connections (spending time with other kids and adults), learning positive ways to deal with stress, through vigorous exercise, and from making their own decisions.
How Can YOU Help a Child Along the Path to Resilience?
  • Encourage school and social participation
  • Support them in their wants, goals and dreams
  • Let them know that you are there for them – build a healthy, supportive and reliable relationship Teach them about emotions and how to recognize them, as well as how to handle them in a good way
  • Teach problem-solving skills
  • Listen to them and be understanding- Know that every individual’s path to resilience is unique

Resiliency Collective PSA

Protective Factors

The Path to Resilience is different for everyone depending upon their circumstances and the protective factors that are present in their life:
Strong home life
with rules, predictability, routines, chores, positive discipline
Caring and involved adults
i.e. mentors, teachers, family members, neighbors, community members, faith leaders
Good social skills
sense of humor, empathy, conflict resolution skills
Being involved in outside of school activities
clubs, teams, hobbies, part-time job
Having someone to help set goals
to be successful, and build confidence

Professionals Path to Resilience Toolkit

Our path to resilience, for professionals, involves working with the whole family to promote resiliency. Our goal is for everyone that works with children, teens and adults to understand when a child or family may be struggling, and stepping up to be empathetic, understanding and supportive. When professionals Champion Resilience they are helping build the shield that protects our children and teens from adversity.

How Can YOU Help Build Resilience in Your Community?

Everyone can be a Resilience Champion by recognizing that people may be suffering from unseen issues. We don’t need to know what the issues are. We just need to respond with understanding and kindness. Be kind and supportive of your neighbors, smile, and provide a connection or a hand up, if needed.


The Resiliency Collective formed in May 2017 to educate the Roanoke community about resiliency and resiliency building. Resiliency is the ability to bounce back from tough situations. The Resiliency Collective is spreading this message, along with how the community can build resilience, via a professional education toolkit and a public media campaign.
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