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Building Personal Resilience at CorStone

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Personal resilience is the ability to bounce back when faced with adversity, and anyone can learn to be more resilient. Resilience is an important part of self-reliance, and CorStone is an organization that has set themselves apart as the Center for Personal Resilience.

“We believe that within every challenge lies the potential for personal growth and positive change in our mental, emotional and physical health, personal relationships, and professional lives. We believe that the capacity to thrive can be harnessed in all of us—even in those who seem the most vulnerable — through empirically supported resilience-based strategies,” they say.

The organization was originally founded as the International Center for Attitudinal Healing in 1975, by Gerald Jampolsky, M.D., a renowned psychiatrist and author. It has provided training to thousands of adults and children from over 50 countries. In 2008 the name was changed to CorStone, derived from “Cor” which is Latin for “heart,” and “Stone,” which connotes a strong foundation. So it means “a strong foundation for the heart”.

CorStone works with families, schools and groups in the U.S., helping them overcome hardship, conflict or crisis through personal resilience training. In K-12 schools they help teachers, administrators and students build skills and interpersonal skills. Their Children and Youth Resilience Program focuses on teens aged 12-18 an the Family Resilience Program helps foster parenting skills in low-income families with young children.

In India, CorStone runs the Children’s Resilience Program for Girls, which empowers girls in areas where they’re normally not offered many choices. The program promotes mental health, self-esteem, leadership and self-sufficiency using a strength-based approach:

"The Children’s Resilience Program for Girls (CRPG) in India builds the self-concepts, values, attitudes and leadership skills that empower girls to put their dreams into action, improve their circumstances and achieve short and long-term goals. The CRPG also develops problem-solving and conflict resolution skills, resulting in improved decision-making, decreased behavioral disruptions, and greater school attendance and achievement. The program further provides critical prevention for depression, stress and other mental health concerns in situations where traditional Western approaches are neither culturally appropriate nor feasible.

CRPG attendees are 12-16 year old girls living in high-poverty urban slums in India. The typical attendee is the first generation in her family to attend school; lives in a slum with no running water or sanitation, few if any toilets, and high levels of violent crime; is at high risk for child marriage; and will have few, if any, positive employment prospects beyond menial odd jobs. Girls in the program are Dalits (so-called “untouchables”) or from other low castes, putting them at an even higher risk for abuse, discrimination, and school dropout.

Over 1,000 adolescent girls living in over 20 urban slums in India have gone through the CRPG since its launch in 2009. Independent evaluations have confirmed measurable improvements across a wide range of mental and behavioral health and social skills indicators. Likewise, coping skills, self-esteem, school attendance and performance have all increased.

CorStone implements the CRPG through an innovative ‘train the trainer’ model by training and employing local women as Program Facilitators. Facilitators then lead peer support groups of 12 girls per group for two hours per week over the course of three months. Each session consists of topics from CorStone’s resilience curriculum followed by open sharing."

BILLIONS RISING, SELF-RELIANCE FOUNDATION 

A 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization

Federal Identification Number (EIN): 46-3416157

P.O. Box 6654
San Rafael, CA 94903
USA