Humanity & Resiliency Project

What is this project? Why humanity and resilience?

Recent research has shown that the distress of college students is on the rise with scores on measures assessing depression, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, engagement in non-suicidal self-injury, and serious suicidal ideation increasing steadily and substantially in the past few years. One hypothesis about the cause of this rise in distress is that social comparisons have become more possible through our access to "information" about others' lives…which we can now more readily see with the various forms of social media. When we see only a very narrow view of other peoples' lives (i.e., like what is posted on Instagram or Twitter), we begin to set expectations that our lives SHOULD be that happy and/or fulfilling, even though we are only seeing a very small (and likely edited) portion of others' realities - this ultimately perpetuates inaccurate beliefs that perfection is required or the norm. SO when life, in reality, is much messier…shame emerges - we think there is something wrong with us, which connects to higher levels of overall distress. In the end, the following never-ending cycle is reinforced: social comparisons high, unrealistic expectations for oneself (re: appearance, happiness, social activity, etc.) one's reality not matching the expectations shame closing off and further fueling high expectations escalated distress social comparisons…

Purpose of the Project

To foster the resilience of West Chester University students, faculty, staff, and the overall campus community by encouraging connecting with each other through shared humanity or vulnerability.

Goals of the Project

  • To disseminate information (to students, parents/families/guests, faculty, and staff) about the connection between humanity/vulnerability and resilience.
  • To normalize the human experience and reduce barriers to vulnerability, like shame and perfection.
  • To increase the focus on strengths and teach skills to continue moving forward when faced with challenges, while honoring and validating challenges.

Inspirational & Informative TED Talks


Get Involved!

  • Like "Humanity & Resilience Project" on FB.
  • Follow "WCUResilience" on Twitter (@WCUResilience).
  • Keep a look out for events hosted or co-hosted by the Humanity & Resilience Project
  • Want even more? Contact Dr. Rachel Daltry to find out how you can get more involved.
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