Fostering Resilience

Patients must be able to adapt in the face of adversity, trauma, and stress. Listen to some tips on how to help.

Susan J. Noonan, MD, MPH offers advice on how to foster resilience in patients.

1. Offer non-judgmental support.

2. Be optimistic but realistic.

3. Keep things in perspective.

4. Guide them towards realistic goals, and help them achieve them.

5. Build on their strengths and past accomplishments.

6. Help them face their fears, and problem-solve their way through.

Dr Noonan is a physician consultant and Certified Peer Specialist in the Department of Psychiatry at McLean Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital. She is the author of four books and a blog on managing depression, most recently Helping Others With Depression: Words to Say, Things to Do (December 2020). Dr Noonan offers peer counseling to fellow patients, including physicians and other professionals, and can be confidentially reached through her website at