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Mental Health Resiliency Amidst Global Conflicts

By EdApp
3 Lessons
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About this course

In the midst of global conflicts, it may seem like our mental health has taken the back seat as we prioritize our very survival over regaining control over our lives. This course aims to impart you with the skillset for self-regulation and emotional resiliency while surviving in the midst of these overwhelming historical turns by borrowing ideas from psychiatry, dialectical behavior therapy, and renowned trauma scholars. Moving beyond the personal, we will also tell you stories of grassroots community aid & care across the globe to help you regain hope and seize control of your life through contributing to your local communities.

Mental Health Resiliency Amidst Global Conflicts Lessons

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  1. Your Mental Health During Times of Crisis
  2. Managing Feelings of Helplessness and Hopelessness
  3. Regaining Hope Through Collaborative Survival

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Mental Health Resiliency Amidst Global Conflicts course excerpts

Your Mental Health During Times of Crisis

Mental Health Resiliency Amidst Global Conflicts Course - Lesson Excerpt

Your Mental Health During Times of Crisis What is it like to live in long-term hypervigilance?

At the age of social media, 24/7 news cycles, and real-time technology, it may seem like we are all bearing witness to the tragedies around the world through the portals of our phones and televisions.

Even though you live far away from these war-torn cities, the nonstop reportage of mass violence and deaths could exacerbate your pre-existing stress and may even result in post-traumatic stress disorder.


How does one develop hypervigilance?

Hypervigilance, is the state of being constantly on guard and attuned to one's surroundings to keep one's self safe.

For example, a child brought up by frightening, unpredictable, and overwhelming caregivers may suffer from hypervigilance and become socially and emotionally stunted. They may have the following:

Underdeveloped coping strategies

Maladaptive or self-destructive coping mechanisms

Immature capacity for self-regulation

Low levels of self-worth and self-esteem

And a negative perception of others and the world

In the middle of a war, you are in constant fear of being bombed.

In the middle of an economic crisis, you worry about job and food insecurity.

In the middle of a pandemic, you worry about carrying pathogens home to your family and the cost of hospital bills.

People on the frontlines of trauma-inducing work are the most prone to vicarious traumatization.

Yet with our world's fast-paced technological advancements, 24/7 news cycles, social media, and virtual reality, we all become secondary witnesses to the atrocities being committed anywhere in the world.

Common Negative Reactions to Trauma What to look out for Are you neglectful of your health? 2. Do you emotionally shut down when you're overwhelmed? 3. Do you have problems with sleep? 4. Do you feel chronic pain in specific parts of your body? 5. Do you feel hopeless about the future? 6. Do you constantly worry about your safety? Do you think of the world as a dangerous place? 7. Do you find yourself being irritable, aggressive, or violent towards your loved ones? 8. Do you self-soothe by hurting yourself or through self-medication (alcohol and drug abuse)? 9. Do you feel constantly drained and avoid social interactions? The following questions are indicators of various mental health disorders related to PTSD. If you mostly answered yes to these symptoms, this may indicate that you are suffering from a form of mental illness. If these symptoms are getting in the way of your day-to-day life, it is best to seek professional help immediately.

What are healthy ways to stay involved during these overwhelming times?

Keep your news intake at a minimum This can be done by having boundaries with your technology-- be mindful and intentional with your usage of social media applications.

Stop doom-scrolling Social media can become a horror echo chamber in the midst of global conflicts. This may reinforce your feelings of being out of control.

Do emotional check-ins Listen to your emotions. If you feel burnt-out already with the news, consider avoiding them for a while.

Gauge what is within your control Easy access to information may give us an illusion of control over distressing events which we may end up channeling through frustrations at our incapacity to act.

Do meaningful actions to help The world is too vast to be changed. What you can do, though, is to try to help your local communities or to donate to charities or fundraisers for the causes you believe in.

Managing Feelings of Helplessness and Hopelessness

Mental Health Resiliency Amidst Global Conflicts Course - Lesson Excerpt

Managing Feelings of Helplessness and Hopelessness How do you regulate yourself during survival mode?

We cannot deny that living in these overwhelming circumstances has been taking a toll on our emotional well-being.

It may feel impossible to regain control and stability when you feel like you've been living in survival mode for a long time. In this lesson, we will help you manage these feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.


Developing acceptance by being grounded in the present

Creating healthy coping strategies to cope with stress

Learning how to regulate your emotions

Improving your relational skills to develop healthy relationships.

Let's apply this. Suppose you are going through the anxiety, stress, and fear of ending up homeless amidst a global crisis. What are the steps you can take to help you cope with this situation? Let's focus on developing skills in mindfulness and distress tolerance.

Regaining Hope Through Collaborative Survival

Mental Health Resiliency Amidst Global Conflicts Course - Lesson Excerpt

Regaining Hope Through Collaborative Survival How to stay hopeful in the face of a crisis?

Persisting amidst a global crisis may take a toll on us individually, but we must remember that these burdens are not meant to be shouldered alone.

As we continue moving forward, it is important to bear in mind that we don't do it alone-- we carry on collectively, as a community.

Even though our institutions may not be working in our favor amidst this global crisis, the rise in communal acts of mutual aid and community care attests to our resilience and benevolence as humans. Let us read up on how some disenfranchised communities across the world have dealt with their collective struggles.


Community Care How did we arrive here? Amidst national or international disasters, we turn to our local government and institutions to help us. However, the government and the institutions themselves have their own vested interests to keep the economy going... ...so much so that these interests may come to the detriment of some of their citizens. The ones who bear the brunt of this problem are those who are marginalized-- the poor and the homeless. Yet, in the face of these odds, we still see the growth of grassroots community aid. Civilians from local communities themselves render help to those who were left behind by the government -- with what meager extra resources they have. A few of these phenomena can be seen in the rise of "Community Pantries" in the Philippines and Thailand, in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Community Pantries in the Philippines Mutual Aid at the Time of COVID-19

The Philippines is known to have one of the longest lockdowns worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically on Metro Manila and its surrounding areas.

This lockdown had led to a million job terminations across the country, leaving millions of Filipino families in dire hunger and exacerbated poverty.

In response to this situation in Metro Manila, Ana Patricia Non established the first community pantry in the Philippines at Maginhawa, Quezon City.

The community has the slogan: "Magbigay ayon sa kakayahan; kumuha batay sa pangangailangan." (Trans.: “Give according to your means, take according to your need.”)

Filipinos who had spare food were encouraged to donate to these pantries and poor Filipino families who were in dire need of food had these pantries to fall back on.

Within days, Non's initiative had encouraged other Filipinos from different provinces to do the same for their local communities as well.

Too Pan Sook in Thailand ("Pantries of Sharing") Mutual Aid at the Time of COVID-19

Too Pan Sook is an initiative where Thai civilians organized and encouraged each other to donate their spare food to those who cannot afford it during the COVID pandemic.

This initiative began in early 2020 with the strengthening junta government of Thailand serving as the backdrop leading to this initiative.

There were conflicting opinions regarding the Too Pan Sook's sustainability amidst the pandemic...

...yet the initiative gained traction with civilians across the region of Thailand creating their own pantries.

The Too Pan Sook initiative has spread to over 40 provinces across Thailand in May 2020.

The Rise of Community Care & Mutual Aid Although mutual aid attests to the human race's resilience and benevolence, there are conditions that led these communities to take responsibility for their fellow countrymen. The rise of the community pantry in the Philippines, for instance, may serve as a critique of the lapses of the Philippine government. On the other hand, the community pantry in Thailand attests to their resistance to the military dictatorship of their junta government in 2020. Although we may feel hopeless and helpless with the current systems and institutions in place, these small acts of kindness attest to our power to threaten these structures with mass action. Aside from the community pantries in Thailand and the Philippines, similar initiatives were also started in USA and Australia long before the pandemic began. In America, the Little Free Pantry was initiated by Jessica McClard in Fayetteville, Arkansas in 2016. On the other hand, Australia organized the **Foodbank ** to address their issues with food insecurity.

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Mental Health Resiliency Amidst Global Conflicts


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