GRIT creates toolkit to build individual, community resilience against COVID-19

The sun sets on a lake surrounded by trees

Society’s sudden changes in response to COVID-19 can impact people differently. Through the UCCS National Resilience Institute, GRIT, the Greater Resilience Information Toolkit and Greater Resilience Intervention Team training, are free resources with information and supportive video content that empower individuals and communities to expand their capacity to build resilience, a person’s ability to cope with traumatic events. The toolkit includes information specific to how to build resilience for the COVID-19 pandemic, but can apply to other events like natural disasters, violence, accidents or workplace experiences common for military members or first responders. 

“One of the biggest pieces that help individuals respond to a crisis is the feeling of control,” said Charles “Chip” Benight, professor of psychology and director of the National Resilience Institute. “Each person responds a little differently, so there isn’t a ‘one size fits all approach.’ Our goal is to provide people with the tools and let them make the decisions, to regain the control, for what is best in their situation. The GRIT Resilience Support Coach training provides an opportunity for community members to give back and gain a personal sense of pride and control in helping when a lot of folks feel helpless on what they can do to help.” 

The GRIT Resilience Support Coach training provides free opportunity for volunteers to sign up as a GRIT Coach to be a resource for support and education in the community. The five-hour course provides information and skills on general and COVID-19 stress, resilience, disaster recovery, skills, support and small interventions to educate, support and motivate individuals and communities to be as resilient as they can be in the wake of COVID-19 and subsequent precautions. The coaches are not a replacement for medical or mental health professionals. 

Individuals who need immediate help responding to COVID-19 are encouraged to reach out to the Colorado Crisis Services by calling (844) 493-TALK (8255) or by texting “TALK” to 38255. 

The National Resilience Institute is offering a support call in center for faculty and staff struggling with the current pandemic crisis. The support line will be available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Trained volunteers are all clinical psychology graduate students and a doctoral level psychological intern from the Wellness Center. This is not meant as a crisis line, but instead as a supportive opportunity to talk about:  

  1. about what’s been happening,  
  2. get some advice and wellness, resilience, and coping, and  
  3. learn about resources to make things easier.   

The phone number for faculty and staff to reach a support volunteer is (719) 315-5870.