Having the resources and skills to navigate the tough spots in our lives ensures that we can not only make it through, but emerge stronger. Photo: Teton Youth & Family Services

JACKSON, Wyo. — The pandemic has given us each an opportunity to consider our own resilience in a new way. From navigating the disappointment of canceled travel and events, to missing face-to-face contact with loved ones, to financial upheaval and job loss, no lives have remained untouched by the challenges of COVID.

Though it demonstrated the disruptive potential of unexpected challenges in spades, it has also shown us that resilience is critical. Having the resources and skills to navigate the tough spots in our lives ensures that we can not only make it through, but emerge stronger.

The American Psychological Association defines resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress. As much as resilience involves “bouncing back” from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth.

Together, we can expand our entire community’s resilience by supporting organizations like Community Safety Network and Teton Youth & Family Services. Our organizations complement one another to provide support to the families that need it most, and help them move from crisis toward stability and hope.

Photo: Teton Youth & Family Services

Recent studies have shown that up to 65% of people who survive intimate partner violence, child abuse, or other violence at home are suceptible to developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The challenges of the pandemic have indirectly triggered a new level of intensity of intimate partner violence and child abuse — some experts believe these incidents could be up by nearly 40%. The stress of financial challenges, job loss, isolation and loneliness, substance abuse, tumultuous school schedules, and other factors have exacerbated the level of violence in homes where it was already present, and may have contributed to new situations of violence at home for many families.

This hardly means that survivors of such abuse or violence are destined for permanent struggle. In fact, the opposite is true. According to the Journal of Behavioral Science, children who experience physical abuse are significantly more likely to be less aggressive and have more healthy social skills if they receive professional support.

“Survivors of any kind of trauma, but especially violence, are more likely to achieve physical and emotional healing when they have professional support. And beyond simply ‘recovering,’ survivors can develop new coping skills and expand their overall resilience in incredibly inspiring ways,” says Andy Cavallaro, Executive Director of Community Safety Network.

Photo: Teton Youth & Family Services

Executive Director of Teton Youth & Family Services, Sarah Cavallaro, agrees. “Young people are uniquely capable of developing new ways of approaching and navigating challenges. We work with them to expand their communication and relationship skills, as well as how to find strength and solace in the amazing natural world around us. When we work with these kids, it’s truly life-changing.”

Together, CSN and TYFS are working to empower every member of our community to not only survive challenges, but to grow stronger in their wake with confidence, grace, and strength.

Through collaboration and meaningful connection, we can all rise from even the most difficult situation with confidence and compassion. We hope you’ll join us and invest in our community’s resilience.

Local philanthropists Ted and Noa Staryk and Carrie Kirkpatrick have each made generous matching challenge grants of $50,000. Any donors who have not previously contributed to these organizations will have their gifts matched — an exciting opportunity to double your impact.

To make a contribution to the Growing Stronger Together fundraiser — or to learn more about the services and collaborative work of Community Safety Network and Teton Youth & Family Services — please visit StrongerJH.org.

Follow Community Safety Network and Teton Youth & Family Services on social media to learn more about these important issues, and to spread the word about this groundbreaking fundraiser.

Community Safety Network

Teton Youth & Family Services