At Worth-it we have been at the forefront of supporting 1000s of young people to develop resilience for 12 years. We specialise in using Positive Psychology Coaching and Positive Education to support the development of resilience in young people.

Supporting Young People to be More Resilient

We support young people to develop resilience through a coaching approach we deliver through a range of targeted support programmes for young people, resilience workshop toolkits for schools, and through providing targeted prevention programmes with hundreds of schools, the NHS, Local Authorities and organisations that work with children and young people.

What is Resilience?

Resilience is essentially the successful adaptation in the presence of risk or adversity. Resilience does not mean you are immune to stressful situations rather that you can overcome and deal with them.

There are numerous examples of young people and adults who have “overcome the odds” of negative effects of risks. These people would be considered resilient. Rather than a single influence or factor, resilience is the outcome of a process that takes into account both the level of risk exposure and the presence of protective factors.

Resilience is developed because of the adversity someone experiences, adversity is an essential component for the development of resilience. Research shows that the ability to navigate, overcome and recover from adversity is the key ingredient for happiness, success, engagement and achievement.

These protective factors are often internal strategies and resources that come from within the individual, although these come naturally to some people, they are skills that can be taught and developed. These protective factors can also be cultivated through a whole school or system approach that promotes and protects the development of resilience in individuals.

Why is Resilience so Important for Young People?

Resilience helps young people gain skills for life that help them deal with, and manage challenging situations and circumstances that are unfortunately unavoidable in life. These can include managing unexpected change, going through transitions, dealing with daily hassles or a range of stressors.

Resilience also helps young people to cope with unexpected traumatic events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The ability to deal with uncertainty, change and ambiguity are key skills. Learning skills for resilience during adolescence can make a real change to a young person's outcomes and success in life.

Resilience is the distinct ability to recover from difficult events rather than an invulnerability to stress.

Resilience is a dynamic learning process that combines several internal mechanisms and strategies that individuals utilise when faced with challenges or adversity. Our approach helps young people learn skills that develop these components of resilience.

What are the Main Components of Resilience?

The factors that cultivate a young person's ability to be resilient also develop wellbeing, however, the main elements that must be present to develop resilience is adversity. There is no resilience without adversity.


  • A sense of a positive future, a tendency to find positive meaning in challenging experiences.
  • A belief in one's ability to impact positively on one's environment and situation.
  • To be able to choose to look on the brighter side of life.

Emotional awareness and control

  • The ability to understand how you feel and how to control the feelings that you express so that they remain appropriate for a given situation.
  • This includes the ability to develop and experience positive emotions that are essential for wellbeing during times of challenge and adversity.

Impulse control and self-regulation

  • The ability not to rush into making decisions or take action without thinking.
  • The ability to sit back and look at things in a thoughtful way before acting.
  • The ability to slow your reactions down and not act or react on impulse.
  • The ability to regulate reactions and calm down.
  • This can also include removing oneself from situations that are unhelpful.

Empathy and connection

  • The ability to notice and correctly interpret the needs and wants of other people.
  • To be able to put yourself in another person's shoes and understand that you are not alone in your challenge.
  • The ability to connect with others and have positive relationships despite adversity or challenge.
  • The ability to reach out and ask for help when needed and help others when required.
  • The ability to receive help and support from others.


  • Confidence and belief in your ability within specific situations
  • The ability to solve problems and achieve goals for yourself.
  • The belief that you can be who you want to be and do what you want to do.

Flexible and accurate thinking

  • The ability to think about a challenge or adversity in helpful ways and try different solutions.
  • To use problem-solving skills, including being able to think things through proactively and finding multiple solutions to a problem.
  • The ability to change and adapt plans if things are not working out.

How to Build Resilience in Young People

Promoting and building resilience in young people is key to our model of early prevention at Worth-it. Our targeted resilience curriculum teaching resources and resilience coaching for young people as well as our coach training for staff to support pupils offers tools and techniques to develop these key components of resilience in the young people you work with:

Tips for developing optimism

Encourage young people to help themselves and to think positively about themselves and their situations. Find opportunities to give positive strengths-based feedback helping young people recognise their strengths, feel good and notice the things that are going well in their lives.

Tips for developing emotional management

Young people gain an understanding of their feelings and how to effectively manage and express a range of feelings in a healthy and positive way. This includes supporting young people to develop emotional literacy and a vocabulary of a range of emotions, including a healthy expression of difficult emotions such as anger, sadness or guilt. A key proven strategy that helps young people to be resilient is to encourage them to experience positive emotions is essential for wellbeing, especially during times of challenge and adversity.

Tips for developing impulse control and self-regulation

Young people can sometimes find it hard to understand or control their reactions to situations which can often be unhelpful and impulsive. Helping them think about what has caused the reaction can be a useful strategy to develop self-regulation. Find opportunities to support young people to pause, think and act differently (positively) in these same situations.

Tips for developing empathy and connection

Feeling part of a supportive community of peers and trusted adults is essential for young people to develop resilience. Evidence shows that if young people are connected to their school and peers in equal measure it helps protect against mental health problems developing in the future. Create supportive relationships and an environment that encourages them to ask for help when needed, and supports them to engage in the support that is provided.

Tips for developing self-efficacy

Developing self-awareness is developing self-efficacy and a belief in one's personal abilities. Help young people to reflect on times they felt confident and what they were doing that helped them to be confident, encourage them to use this learning and apply it to different situations. Provide opportunities that help young people develop as individuals, grow in confidence and nurture essential skills, tools and knowledge for life and its potential barriers.

Tips for developing flexible and accurate thinking

Encourage young people to learn several different thinking skills that they can use to manage situations, challenge negative and unhelpful thinking, and better understand themselves and others. Support the development of problem-solving skills and empower young people to develop their own solutions. Encourage them to use these thinking skills to become more self-aware and have self-belief in their abilities.

Developing Resilience in Your School or Setting

We pride ourselves on our collaborative and evidence-based approach that has had a positive impact on the resilience levels of the young people we have worked with hundreds of schools, settings and commissioners across the UK. Helping them to provide targeted resilience interventions that fit the requirements of Ofsted, the RSE and PSHE Curriculum in a way that empowers young people to manage even the most stressful and challenging situations.  For further information to pass on to young people make sure you access our Free Wellbeing Activity booklet that can be used to support young people to develop resilience.

Looking for an in-depth approach to developing resilience?

Although we have been providing direct support for young people to develop resilience ourselves for several years. We identified that the way to make this targeted work more effective and the best way to support young people to develop sustainable levels of resilience is by making it an integral part of a whole-school framework for developing positive mental health and wellbeing.

Research tells us that interventions that develop wellbeing and resilience delivered in school settings are more impactful when delivered by a teacher or staff member that the pupils know and trust. Learn how to apply a range of activities that develop resilience and wellbeing in young people by joining our Wellbeing Resource Toolkit

Through our DfE assured Wellbeing Club programme which is eligible for £1200 of DfE Funding. By joining Wellbeing Club can you can download and learn how to deliver evidence-based resilience resources and access our library of training and support to help you build the resilience and wellbeing of children and young people under your care. Find out more about our whole school approach through by accessing our free introductory workshop.

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