Scientific Meeting » The NIMH Director’s Innovation Speaker Series: Diagnosing Resilience: A Multisystemic Model for Positive Development in Stressed Environments

The NIMH Director’s Innovation Speaker Series: Diagnosing Resilience: A Multisystemic Model for Positive Development in Stressed Environments


Location: Neuroscience Center
Conference Rooms C&D
6001 Executive Boulevard
Bethesda, MD WebEx

Picture of Doctor Michael Ungar On January 7, 2020, Dr. Michael Ungar will present “Diagnosing Resilience: A Multisystemic Model for Positive Development in Stressed Environments,” as part of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Director’s Innovation Speaker Series.

Using examples from his research and clinical practice, Dr. Ungar will explore the nature of young people’s patterns of resilience in contexts where children and adolescents are affected by social marginalization, migration, violence, and mental disorder. His work is demonstrating that resilience can be assessed with sensitivity to culture and context, identifying factors that are most likely to have the greatest impact on behavioral outcomes at different levels of risk exposure. Dr. Ungar’s program of research provides support for an ecological, culturally sensitive interpretation of what resilience means to young people who experience extreme forms of adversity.

In this lecture, Dr. Ungar will show that resilience results from both individual abilities to overcome adversity and the capacity of social and physical ecologies (including mental health care providers) to help young people navigate and negotiate their way to the resources they need to build and sustain well-being. Finally, aspects of hidden resilience (maladaptive coping) will be discussed as reasonable ways young people protect themselves from risk when growing up in challenging contexts.

Dr. Michael Ungar is the founder and Director of the Resilience Research Centre and Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. He is the former Chair of the Nova Scotia Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, executive board member of the American Family Therapy Academy, and a family therapist who continues to work with mental health services for individuals and families at risk. His international series of studies spans six continents and has changed the way resilience is understood, shifting the focus from individual traits to the interactions between individuals and their social, institutional, built, and natural environments, including health and social services.

Registration and Parking

This event is open without prior registration to all NIH staff and the public. Parking is available at a nominal fee. A government-issued photo identification card (such as an NIH ID or driver's license) is required to enter the building. The audio of this event will be available over WebEx.


The NIMH Director’s Innovation Speaker Series was started to encourage broad, interdisciplinary thinking in the development of scientific initiatives and programs, and to press for theoretical leaps in science over the continuation of incremental thinking. Innovation speakers are encouraged to describe their work from the perspective of breaking through existing boundaries and developing successful new ideas, as well as working outside their initial area of expertise in ways that have pushed their fields forward. We encourage discussions of the meaning of innovation, creativity, breakthroughs, and paradigm-shifting.

More Information:

Sign Language Interpreters will be provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations to participate in this program should contact Dawn Smith 301-451-3957 and/or the Federal Relay (1-800-877-8339).


Meeting number: 621 705 556
Video address: Dial You can also dial and enter your meeting number.
Audio connection: 1-650-479-3208 Call-in toll number (US/Canada)
Access code: 621 705 556

Original Article