Resilience Framework

Life certainly does not come with a map or GPS, and everyone will experience twists and turns, from everyday challenges to traumatic events with more lasting impact, like the death of a loved one, a life-altering accident, or a serious illness. Each change affects people differently, bringing a unique flood of thoughts, strong emotions and uncertainty. Yet people generally adapt well over time to life-changing situations and stressful situations—in part thanks to resilience.

The SMU Resilience Framework is premised on the belief that people can learn to "bounce back". Life will inevitably present its challenges - some big, some small; some expected, others unexpected. The ability to bounce back and find equilibrium again is a critical life skill for students during the university years and beyond. The SMU Resilience Framework seeks to develop the physical, intellectual, financial, career, social and emotional resilience of our students by providing them with the education, encouragement and experiences that can be used to navigate life’s challenges. 

Resilience Framework
Diagram 1: The SMU Resilience Framework

The SMU Resilience Framework (see Diagram 1) aims to develop resilience in six inter-related dimensions of wellness in students - Physical, Intellectual, Social, Emotional, Career and Financial. A three-pronged approach is adopted: 


imparting knowledge and skills (to faculty, staff and students) and shaping attitudes


providing professional and peer support through various platforms


broadening students’ emotional and psychological horizons through authentic learning environments

Like building a muscle, increasing your resilience takes time and intentionality. Through the three-prong approach of Education, Encouragement and Experiences, you can be empowered to weather, learn and grow from difficult and traumatic experiences.

Dimensions of Resilience