On the 19th June, Hugh van Cuylenburg from The Resilience Project spoke to the Callida family about the importance of positive mental health and building resilience. The event was held at the National Museum and had a tremendous turn out. All Callida consultants were encouraged to invite a family member, friend or business colleague who would benefit and enjoy participating. With one in five adults experiencing mental health issues in any one year, we want to keep promoting the values of gratitude, empathy and mindfulness throughout our work culture.


Hugh told us about his experiences teaching in India, with a particularly powerful story about being at the Thicksey Lamdon School where people were happy, despite there being no running water, no electricity and no beds. This experience led Hugh to explore the concept of resilience and in particular the trifecta of gratitude, empathy and mindfulness.  Hugh’s compelling story telling style contrasted the culture of joy he felt while immersed in this small village community, with his own family’s experiences of supporting his sister through mental health struggles. The stories he shared demonstrated how reframing day to day activities and interactions to engage a mindset of gratitude, empathy and mindfulness can have a powerful impact on mental health and general wellbeing.


Here’s what our consultants and guests took away from the session.

Image: Sian and Asha
Image: Sian and Asha


“Was a fantastic event! I think going through the What Went Well mantra at the end of your day is a very powerful tool. Reminds me to be present, thankful and positive!” – Sian.


“Hugh shared relatable experiences and the techniques he discussed were very applicable. I want to use some of them in the future to help me de-stress and not compare myself to people on social media.” – Asha.

Image: Katie and Claude
Image: Katie and Claude

“I found the statistics quite confronting. One in three girls and one in five boys suffer from an anxiety disorder. Hugh also talked about gratitude and my friend is great at practising that. Every night before dinner, instead of saying a prayer, they go around the table and each family member says what they are grateful for.” – Katie.


“The contribution mobile phones make to that feeling of nervousness and stress. It’s so easy to be sucked back into an app with notifications beeping all the time. Reconfiguring your phone settings seems like a really positive move for your peace of mind.” – Claude.

Image: Melissa and Golam
Image: Melissa and Golam

“The story about the little boy in India saying Dis (this) and pointing to the things he was grateful for. His shoes had lots of holes in them but he was so appreciative that he had shoes. I’ve got to get better at saying out loud what I’m thankful for.” – Golam.


“A great reminder to us all to be grateful for what we have when so many face great hardship. I will share Hugh’s stories with my family and friends and continue to focus on the positive.” – Melissa.

In his presentation, Hugh reminded us all that practicing gratitude, empathy and mindfulness can make a powerful change on our lives. It doesn’t have to be difficult; for example: practicing gratitude can be as simple as noting down each day what the best thing that happened was, and what you’re looking forward to the most tomorrow.


The Resilience Project event is just one of the many initiatives we organise. At Callida, we make a conscious effort to put people first and take time out to reflect upon personal and mental wellbeing. Let’s keep working together to make positive and meaningful choices in our everyday lives.

Share article

Talk to us about your challenge

Contact us

Callida © 2021 all rights reserved