Resilient Futures: An Individual and System Level Approach For Building Youth Resilience

Introducing the Article

Resilient Futures: An Individual and System-Level Approach to Improve the Well-being and Resilience of Disadvantaged Young Australians.

Dr Ivan Raymond, LBI Foundation

Mathew Iasiello, SAHMRI

Aaron Jarden, SAHMRI

David Kelly, SAHMRI

Between 2016 and 2018, SAHMRI delivered the $1.1M ‘Resilient Futures’ program to build the wellbeing and resilience of 1400 young South Australians from disadvantaged backgrounds (across education, child protection, mental health and community service settings). 

Resilient Futures was conceptualised and developed as a strength-focused and positive psychology intervention whose design was underpinned by a broad interdisciplinary range of scientific evidence. The program utilised an ecological framework that sought to target key proximal and distal factors associated with youth social exclusion, disengagement, and disadvantage.

This article describes the iterative development of the Resilient Futures program, including a significant early program reorientation toward the use of a nonprescriptive and flexible delivery method (intentional practice).

This pivot was guided by the implementation science literature, and underpinned by an intentional practice model and approach that was operationalised at both the program design and service delivery layers of the program. 

Within ‘Resilient Futures’, the IMPACT Program provided the tools and shared approach for multiple alternative education schools, mental health sites and community-based non-government agencies to:

  • Understand and respond to the deeper ‘under the surface’ needs driving educational, wellbeing and whole-of-life youth outcomes (including trauma).  
  • Enable core wellbeing and resilience skills to be intentionally taught to young people with diverse needs and contexts.
  • Empower agencies and systems to work together in ‘shared intent’ and optimally grow and support young people. 



Raymond, I. J., Iasiello, M., Jarden, A., & Kelly, D. (2018). Resilient Futures: An individual and system-level approach to improve the well-being and resilience of disadvantaged young Australians. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 4(3), 228-244. doi: 10.1037/tps0000169

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SAHMRI Resilient Futures 2018
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    Significance of the Article

    • The article highlights the complexity associated with the multi-site delivery of capacity building programs and interventions for communities in need. This includes across education, child protection, community service and mental health settings. It demonstrates the importance of having a flexible, but evidence-based, design and implementation method to support multi-site interventions. 
    • This article provided strong support for the role and value of intentional practice, as made practical through the IMPACT Program, to operationalise the design and implementation of the program from the “system” level (multi-agency, whole-of-community), to moment-to-moment support, trauma-informed care and intentional delivery of social-emotional learning and resilience skills. 
    • The research provided the first empirical support for intentional practice (and the IMPACT Program) in real-world settings. Intentional practice was noted as a core implementation feature of the program’s success. 

    Further Information

    For further information on this article, please contact Dr Ivan Raymond on