Resiliency Kits Project at Harrisonburg-Rockingham Community Services Board

The “What?” and “Why?” of Resiliency Kits

Designed by the Behavioral Health Wellness (BHW) Program at the HRCSB, Resiliency Kits are a way to respond to the growing number of middle and high school students in our community that report mental health concerns – including sadness, depression, and suicidal ideations. According to the 2019 Youth Data Survey conducted by JMU, 9.8% of youth reported they “would not tell anyone if their friend was seriously thinking about suicide”. A low number of youth reported that they would tell a teacher, coach, or school counselor if they were worried a friend was seriously thinking of suicide.

Resiliency Kits serve two purposes:
1. To provide students with tangible resources and tools they can use to support and nurture their mental and emotional health
2. To create a new connection and build a relationship between a caring adult – who can provide the Resiliency Kit – and the young person in need

Goals of the Resiliency Kits Project

During the 2021-2022 school year, the BHW Program had a goal to distribute 300 Resiliency Kits to our local public middle and high schools. That goal was exceeded and 498 Resiliency Kits were distributed during the ‘21-‘22 school year! The goal for the ‘22-‘23 school year is to distribute 1000 Resiliency Kits! Additionally, this initiative is expanding this year to also provide Resiliency Kits to local youth-serving organization including, Big Brothers Big Sisters, On the Road Collaborative, and the Boys & Girls Club.

The long-term goal of this initiative is to increase the number of youth who would talk to a caring adult if a friend were thinking about suicide while also building the network of caring adults each youth in our community has available to talk when they’re struggling! This project is one of many project the BHW Team executes to promote wellness and prevent suicide in our community!

Each Resiliency Kit contains: a coloring book, colored pencils, journal, pen, journal prompts on self-regulation, a sticker, a bookmark listing national and local crisis lines, a keychain, 3 fidgets, and lip balm.