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HOPE for Challenging Times

A psychotherapist recently coined the term, “hope fatigue.” In describing it, she explained many of her patients are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and exhausted. They are not able to muster a sense of optimism in regard to local, national, and world news. In my role as a parent educator, I too hear from parents, providers, and educators that they often struggle to stay positive when considering current challenges that children and families are facing.

In supporting the well-being of all children, CHKD has made a commitment to health, healing, and hope. As part of my commitment to that vision, I have been able to provide HOPE 101 trainings for parents, professionals, and community members throughout Hampton Roads and the state of Virginia over the past year. One thing I know for sure is that when people come together with positive intentions and talk about HOPE, they feel better.

The HOPE National Resource Center provides substantial research behind the idea that promoting HOPE has short- and long-term positive effects on well-being. In this case, HOPE is an acronym standing for Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experience. The four building blocks of HOPE are positive relationships, safe and equitable environments, opportunities for community and civic engagement, and emotional growth for children, youth, and families.

I tell people who complete the HOPE 101 trainings that they have now become spreaders of HOPE. It is not about adding another task to your to do list. It is about recognizing how your intentions – while doing the things you do – can foster hope and prevent fatigue.

What do you say? Would you like to join in and become a spreader of HOPE? Here are a few ideas that have bubbled up over the past year during my hopeful conversations with participants:

  • Foster positive relationships with children and youth by listening more and talking less!
  • Create a safer environment in your neighborhood by getting to know your neighbors and looking out for one another.
  • See youth as assets in the community and ask them to provide insight and feedback regarding policies at school or places where they gather.
  • When times are challenging, recognize that even a single adult offering support and guidance can help a child or young person navigate difficulties and build coping skills and character.

With intention, together we can change the narrative from one of “hope fatigue” to one of healthy outcomes. Learn more at or email for HOPE 101 training information.

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About Michele Tryon, CCLS

About Michele  Tryon, CCLS Michele Tryon, CHKD community outreach coordinator and parent educator has worked with children and families for 30 years, providing services in the hospital, home, school and community setting. Michele is a Certified Child Life Specialist, a Certified Positive Discipline™ parent educator, a nationally recognized trainer/consultant for Nurturing Parenting Programs™ and co-author of The Nurturing Program for Parents and Their Children with Special Needs and Health Challenges©.