As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace, and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect.
Many of our readers will know that I have written a lot about mental health, or what I like to call brain health. Especially because there are many stigmas associated with the term "mental". I have focused upon youth and adults, with the use of research, as well as many life experiences, that have caused psychological responses. I don't think that this is something that one should be ashamed or embarrassed about, because even the day to day stressors, can simply be a source of anger, pain or anxiety inducing. The psychological responses become much more serious, when they are also producing physiological responses. So really we are thinking at a level of prevention, intervention, rehabilitation and restoration. Whilst the seriousness of brain care cannot be reiterated, I also wanted to focus upon some ideas that were produced from my previous thoughts, with regards to culture and cultural stigma.
We could say that cultural stigma with regards to mental / brain health is present in every culture, but the amounts of stigma can also be associated with ones level of awareness of consciousness. For instance, we could very well be living in a western society where the field of psychology has evolved much more, however; there can also be areas where there are pockets of the population, who are not as aware of the impacts of mental / brain health. Whilst this thought can hold as true, I also do think that we can't and shouldn't use culture as an excuse to not heighten / increase one's level of awareness.
When we think about culture I'm still thinking about western societies and nations, especially because of the diversity that is contained within these nations. Sometimes individuals or segments of the populations possess a diverse background, but who are living in the west. They decide to be selective about what pieces of the culture they choose to embrace in their home and host nation. Sometimes individuals will choose what works for then in their favour, and discard the rest. We can take the example of mental / brain health where the topic still carries shame and therefore discarded, but should this be the case? No it shouldn't. But what interests me more is why brain care is still received in this way?
In my view, I really do strongly believe as I have always said, that it does go back to language and terms. Just as I have written in previous writings and research I continue to wonder: What if mental / brain care was viewed the same as heart care, or any other organ in the body? I believe it can be so, because if you take the time to think deeper, we realize that any health issue that is related to any other organ in the body, is produced from internal and external factors, including human behaviour, choices and decisions. The same can be said for the brain. But why is there still a cause for so much shame? The very shame is also a source to produce many other anxiety provoking responses. Which is why the need to talk openly about the internal and external thoughts and behaviours, associated with brain care. Caring for the human brain arrives with honesty and openness. To build trust with relations and the community of care givers.
Recommendation: Whilst there are many cultural stigma present in communities with regards to mental health. There are also many factors for the cause. Including generational, educational, and levels of awareness. Which is why I think that there is a greater responsibility placed upon present and future generations, to spearhead initiatives to continuously reduce stigma and shame associated with the health of the brain in various cultures.