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NNLM Reading Club: Mental Health


Resilience is more than coping; it’s about confronting crises and difficult situations without getting overwhelmed by them. Resilient people are better able to handle life’s stressors and to adapt to changing situations. Being resilient can help protect you from depression, stress, and anxiety, too. To help foster resilience, here are science-based articles, resources, and books for group discussion or self-reflection.


  • The Road to Resilience (APA) (PDF)
  • 5 Things You Should Know About Stress (English PDF and Español PDF)
  • Questions to Reflect Upon Resilience (PDF)
  • Resiliency Resources (PDF)


  • Healthcare Personnel and First Responders: How to Cope with Stress and Build Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic, CDC, Updated December 16, 2020 (English and Spanish)

There's an NIH for that...

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is the National Institutes of Health lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. Mind and body practices are included in this field of study. The 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) showed that yogachiropractic and osteopathic manipulation, and meditation are among the most popular mind and body practices used by adults. Stress management programs commonly include relaxation techniques. Find more information about the benefits of relaxation techniques that may aid in stress management and help build resilience.

Resiliency Reflected in Race, Gender, and Community

Not only is resiliency an individual trait, communities collectively overcome adversity when faced with mass violence, natural disasters, and unprecedented pandemics. Biases, fear, and hatred also create stress, trauma, and life-threatening events for groups of select persons. How can communities foster resilience?

Incidents of increased prejudice and violence during COVID reflect a long history of how power, prejudice, and public health have intersected throughout American history. For Asian Pacific American History Month, Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History held conversations in a series called Viral Histories: Stories of Racism, Resilience, and Resistance in Asian American Communities with community leaders combating racism while serving on the front lines.

Viajando por Las Americas: From Guatemala to Washington, D.C. by Michelle Aranda Cross. 2017 Folklife Festival on the Move, Crafts, Immigration & Migration. August 31, 2017

Transgender womanThe Digital Transgender Archive was born out of two researchers’ frustration with finding materials by and about transgender people. The online hub encompasses more than 20 public and private collections of documents, ephemera, and memorabilia from gender nonconforming people in an attempt to make their history more visible. This Transgender Archive’s Oldest Artifacts Tell a Story of Courage and Community by Erin Blakemore. SmithsonianMag.com, March 29, 2016

Racial and Ethnic Socialization (RES) is a process through which parents influence “children's racial identity and self-concept, beliefs about the way the world works, and repertoire of strategies and skills for coping with and navigating racism and inter- and intra-racial relationships and interactions.” (From Resilience in African-American Children and Adolescents: A Vision for Optimal Development.)

The RESilience Initiative of the American Psychological Association provides resources for parents and others to assist them in promoting strength, health and well-being among youth of color. Positive racial identities serve as protective factors and bolster resilience.

Building community resilience is going from surviving to thriving. THRIVE: Tool for Health and Resilience In Vulnerable Environments is a framework for understanding how community conditions impact health and a tool for engaging others to take action to improve those conditions.

Founded in 2001, The Greater Good Science Center, based at UC Berkeley, provides a bridge between the research community and the general public. The center studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society. Its aims are to:

  • Equip individuals with science-based knowledge and skills that shape their beliefs and broadly improve social and emotional well-being;
  • Empower people to become agents of change in their organizations and communities, thus changing institutions from the inside out.
  • Engage in “field building” by fostering a broad, inclusive cultural conversation about the importance of compassion, connection, gratitude, and meaning, while bringing a trusted, science-based voice to the public.