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Essay on My Grandfather's Mental Health

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I believe that resilience is the ability to cope with change or certain situations in a way that is will not affect you too drastically in a negative way, to have resilience means that you can overcome and recover from tough situations. You can have resilience if your protective factors help you and your risk factors do not negatively affect you. The YDSA (Youth Development Strategy Aotearoa) is a good example of a group that helps with the building of resilience, it is a supportive group that helps young people cope with challenges and build up the resilience that they need in life. They consist “of a vision, principles, aims and goals and also the positive development of young people”. YDSA acknowledges the diversity of young people and how they cope with certain situations differently

Section 1 b)

What happened to them before the event?

My Grandad was 65 and he lived in Christchurch with my Grandma. On the day of the event he had planned to take a helicopter with his friend,

What was the main change situation (you could include here any other secondary changes that occurred because of this)?

Going through the helicopter crash and how his life changed after that like having to cope with the aftermath of it as he broke multiple bones and had to go through months of rehabilitation to overcome his injuries and insure that he would be able to walk again.

How did this change result in the demonstration of resilience?

Because my grandfather was resilient in the situation his mental health was not affected drastically as he refused to dwell on what had happened and chose to overcome the situation and remain optimistic. He chose not to complain about what he had gone through and not to feel sorry for himself and instead he got back to his everyday routine even though he had restrictions (due to his injuries) and try his best to recover.

  • Personal
  • Interpersonal
  • Societal
  • Risk factor
  • Not the best at communication
  • Tough on self
  • Grew up with tougher parenting
  • Not overly interactive with the wider community
  • Protective factor
  • Strong mental health
  • Supportive friends/family
  • Safe supportive neighborhood

Section 2:

Risk factors:

A personal and interpersonal risk factor that impacted resilience in this change situation was my grandfather's lack of communication skills with family friends and others and the need to always be incredibly tough on himself. Even though he has very strong/tough mental health there is a downside to it because he doesn't allow himself to process change and prefers to ignore it and this is not good in all change situations. He chooses to push the thoughts of the event to the back of his mind and ignore it, meaning he may never overcome his thoughts about the change and this will hinder his ability to build up resilience for future events that may affect him. He didn't want to communicate about the change with others such as family and friends. These risk factors definitely hindered my grandfather from fully overcoming the change he experienced because even though his mental health was strong enough to overcome a situation like this his tough attitude toward it hindered him from accepting the situation fully, this affected his ability to be resilient because he has not processed the change he has the experience and will not improve his resilience for the future.

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Section 3:

Protective factors:

Strong mental health -

A personal risk factor that impacted resilience in this change situation was my grandfather's strong mental health. As talked about in the question above having a strong/tough personality can be a negative but it can also be a positive. Being someone with strong mental health meant that my grandfather did not dwell on the change situation and chose to get over the situation rather than feel sorry for himself. This means that he's built up resilience for further situations that might affect him negatively, an example of how his helicopter crash helped him build up his resilience was when the Christchurch Earthquakes hit in 2010 and 2011. He was alone during both the earthquakes and coped with the situation well even though he didn't have any support from others at the time, and chose again to not dwell on the situation. He recovered from the situation and did not let it negatively affect him.

Section 4:

Explain how both the identified risk and protective factors explained in sections 2 & 3 links to relevant determinants of health.

A way that these protective factors link to the determinants of health is the way that my grandfather was raised. He grew up in a safe environment but since it was the social norm back then to parent in a tough but fair way he was raised to be tough on himself. Another link may be other social norms such as boys not being allowed to show emotion or not being allowed to react a certain way to something, this could be why my grandfather is strong in situations that the average person would find incredibly hard. My grandfather is a very hard worker and his work life reflects his personality. When he went through rehabilitation he was determined to get better and regain every ability he had before. This links back to the way he was raised as he was surrounded by people that taught him these things. It was expected of him to work hard and be determined in life.

Another one could be his age. Due to being on the older side my grandfather probably realized how precious life is and not to take it for granted, and that's why he decided to stay so optimistic about the situation and not let it affect him drastically. But he may have tried to not let it affect him to the extent that it harmed his mental health due to his toughness.

Section 5:

Recommend strategies that are specific to the change situation at a personal, interpersonal, and societal level.

The most personal action that my grandfather could take would be to communicate with others. The lack of communication that my grandfather had after the accident may have caused bigger problems when he was overcoming the situation. By not talking about the situation he blocked out the feelings that he could be talking about so doing this it would help him overcome and build up resilience in his life. Communication is a huge protective factor as its the key to maintaining healthy relationships with friends and family, he would be able to receive and give feedback and learn, and overall this would minimize the risk factors.

The most interpersonal action that my grandfather can take would be to continue to surround himself with supportive friends and family. This would mean he can improve his communication skills by talking to family and friends and engaging in conversations about the event and other things as well. This would make him more resilient because it would open up his communication skills so when he experiences another event that is similar to this one he won't be afraid to talk to others about what he's experiencing. Similarly to the paragraph above it will help him to maintain healthy relationships that he needs to build resilience and communication skills, by doing this he would minimize many of the risk factors that he faces.

The most societal action that my grandfather can take would be to get more involved with his wider community. He could attend groups of people that have faced similar experiences in life and he could connect with them on the same level. If he found someone that has faced a similar experience he could build up resilience and recover from the event. This will in turn help him build resilience as it's helping him overcome and not be so reserved if something like this happens again. This strategy maintains protective factors because it will build up communication skills and also help him find a wider supportive community that he can be a part of. It would minimize risks in the long run as he has a supportive community that he can talk to and reach out to.

These three strategies all relate to communication. They all show that communication is key for my grandfather to build up resilience. It shows that no matter whom he talks to he will always be able to find someone who could help him or possibly relate to him. This communication skill will be good in the future for any other events that may affect him in the same sort of way, the resilience that he will have gained will also help with the out outcome of how he copes with another situation like this.

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