Can We Talk about Brain Health?

If you’ve read some of the earlier posts in this blog, you know that InnoPsy co-founder Susan Giurleo and I started this project to give psychologists and other mental health specialists a platform.  Our profession has been marginalized in the health care system.  I think that is partly because there is stigma about the conditions we treat.  I think it is partly because some folks trained in a medical model view psychology as a “soft science.”  I think it is partly because our profession hasn’t done a fantastic job of educating other health professionals and the general public about how much impact we can have on health and social function.

But around here, just acknowledging the problem isn’t going to be enough. The goal of InnoPsy is to change the status quo. To make a difference.

We had a really interesting discussion during chat a few weeks ago. We were talking about the link between physical and mental health.  And we started to ask, “If there is so much stigma attached to the words “mental health,” why not change the words?”

Because really, it makes more sense on some level to talk about brain health.  All of our emotions and cognitive processes originate in our brain.  The brain is the recipient and interpreter of our internal and external neural feedback.  And, in terms of helping other health professionals understand what we do, starting with a recognized organ and body system seems like a good idea.

Right now, if you do a web search on the phrase “brain health” you will find lots of advertising for sites like Lumosity, which provide “brain training,” or for organizations dedicated to Alzheimer’s support and research.  Go ahead, give it a try.

However, you won’t find anything (in the first few pages of search, anyhow) that references cognitive dysfunction, depression, anxiety, stress management or any of the other issues typically treated by psychologists.

And that makes me wonder–how did we get this disconnected?  How did we take so many of our brain’s functions and just push them off to the side?

And why aren’t we using the phrase brain health to describe these issues?

What do you think?

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One thought on “Can We Talk about Brain Health?

  1. Sally P

    WOW! Great idea about referring to brain health. How about Cognalogy? We are cognologists studying the brain health., including pediments to healthy cognition as well as healthy cognition supports, training, etc?

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