Top flight associates in mental health and social care delivering service improvement



Resilience and the African Caribbean Community

On 27th February 2014 HS Consultancy and Mind co-hosted an event Resilience: Working with the Capacities and Capabilites of the African Caribbean Community for Wellness. The keynote speech was delivered by Dr Hilary Robertson-Hickling from Jamaica.

The notes of the event are here.

The main themes discussed during the seminar were:-

  • Services must work with people’s skills and strengths
  • People have hidden strengths and may not even recognise these themselves.
  • Resilience is a process, not a personality trait
  • No one is so ill that they can’t be resilient and no one is so resilient that they can’t become unwell
  • It is crucial to understand why African and Caribbean people have left their countries and migrated to the UK (first generation, second generation, family reunions, etc.)
  • Part of the resilience building process is genuinely understand one’s own culture, history and narrative, in order to develop a knowledge of self
  • People need to be supported to be able to dream again, to feel they can achieve something in life (e.g. educational achievements, having a mentor – someone who believes in you)
  • This point in life is not the end of the story
  • There is a need to create more “safe-spaces” where people feel welcome, accepted and genuinely supported
  • It is vital to recognise and facilitate the role that families and communities have to play in building resilience
  • Services need to develop cultural appropriateness and take a much more subtle approach
  • It is important to have a team of workers able to contribute different skills, knowing their strengths and limitations.
  • Build individual, team and organisational resilience and strengths for the benefit of service users, by working across boundaries


The underlying resilience model proposed by Dr Hilary Robertson-Hickling is the so called “life-cycle” model which is based on the acknowledgment that one needs to understand a the person’s whole life (culture, past, present, expectations, ambitions for the future, etc.) and act on all aspects of the person (physical and mental health, social connections, family, need for achievement, interests, passions…) to build durable resilience.


For this model to be effective the system needs to enable services to respond when people need it, cutting waiting times and promoting integrated support. The system also needs to facilitate and promote the involvement of families and communities.


Some photos taken during the seminar can be found here:




If you would like to be kept informed about similar seminars or developments email or like the ‘HS Consultancy’ and ‘Mind Charity’

pages on Facebook or visit Twitter and follow Consultancy_HS and Mind.


For more information about other Mind projects focusing on Young

African Caribbean Men, please contact Marcel Vige: – 0208 215 2222


Please also visit


to know more about our work

Thank you!