How can you build your resilience when living on a low income?
Tenacity and resilience are qualities we all require to live life to the full. They're particularly needed when coping with difficult experiences such as loss, family breakdown or surviving addiction or trauma. Picking up our lives again after such experiences is impossible without these inner resources.
What is less well recognised is how crucial they are for anyone having to deal with the daily struggle of life on a low income: in fact 75% of people living in the lowest income bracket have reported having mental health problems (Mental Health Foundation, 2017). In these circumstances it's easy to feel stuck and harder to access our own innate strengths.
This in itself can prevent individuals from realising their potential and leave people feeling worthless.
A powerful idea
In 2012 we were introduced to way of helping people who feel stuck in their situation and who are struggling to see a way forward.
We were immediately attracted to this positive and empowering idea.
"THIS PROGRAMME RE-HUMANISES PEOPLE AND LETS THEM KNOW THEY DO HAVE CONTROL,
and can make a change, where before they thought they were powerless."
ANNUSHKA BAKER, THIS WAY UP PARTICIPANT
Falling between the cracks
This Way Up participants have scant financial resources. Their histories and experiences may be complex. Sometimes the backdrop can be dramatic – being trafficked, or violently attacked. Often it is more commonplace – job loss, bereavement, mental health or overwhelming family responsibilities. They are less likely to be in employment, active in the lives of their communities, or engaged in fulfilling personal pursuits.
Many fall between the cracks in our social safety net. They may not benefit from youth or age-related services or are not in sufficient immediate crisis to benefit from hospital or homelessness interventions. Others are often coerced into single issue crisis services with narrowly pre-determined outcomes. Such services don’t address the needs of the whole person or recognise their innate resourcefulness to make their own wise life choices.
And ready for something different
The common factor is that for them, the time is right for them to be seeking some support to be able to realise their potential. They want to plan for the future and reconnect with their aspirations. They're looking for constructive ways to manage negative and self-limiting thinking.
This Way Up offers the means for people to find their own resilience to cope with their circumstances as well as to actively engage with their own ideas for the future.