The conference theme ‘Occupational Therapy Europe – building resilience in individuals, communities and countries’ reflects the increasing prevalence of resilience in many aspects of society.
From an individual perspective, resilience can be seen as the ability for an individual to overcome trauma or a major life-changing event while maintaining a defined, stable trajectory of healthy functioning. Overcoming an event could be shown in emotional, cognitive-behavioural, social and or physical resilience. This could be measured by an individual’s maintaining his or her life roles and occupational demands.
Community resilience is a process linking a set of adaptive capacities to a positive trajectory of functioning and adaptation after a disturbance, where a positive trajectory manifests in improved community wellbeing. As such, community resilience is focussed on improving community wellbeing in both the short and longer term, which emphasises the active and future-oriented nature of community resilience. This active nature of community resilience means that it encompasses community actions and community processes”.
National resilience addresses the issue of society’s sustainability and strength in several diverse realms. Four main social components have been attributed to national resilience: patriotism, optimism, social integration, and trust in political and public institutions.
Although as above it could be defined differently in the context of individuals, families, societies and cultures, we could see it as an umbrella term describing the range of personal protective factors, environmental supports and resources, as well as self-regulatory processes, engaged in response to adversity.
Resilience building has always been a part of occupational therapy practice but might not always be recognised or named as such. Occupational therapy has a lot to add to the art and science of resilience and to how individuals, families and communities can improve their abilities to adapt and respond positively to life stressors.
We welcome abstract submissions that represent the understanding of resilience from an occupational therapy perspective, as well as those that present resilience models and its challenges from an interdisciplinary point of view.
We invite you to submit an abstract for oral, poster or workshop presentations. The closing date is September 30, 2019, so submit your abstract from April 15, 2019.