We use the term “brain health” because mental health is intangible; it comes with the fear, trepidation, shame, and stigma of the unknown. The invisible world of ‘mental’ illness often comes with a label (“You are… depressed, bipolar, ADHD, etc.”) and, more often than not, creates a barrier to people getting help for themselves or for their loved ones as a result of the associated shame, stigma, fear, and discrimination. We need to recognize that the brain is just another organ and is the source of all our memories, feelings, and behaviors. Therefore, if our behaviors are abnormal, it is the result of abnormal chemistry and/or structure. There are real, physical manifestations within the brain that can be imaged, measured, quantified, and understood – we can work with that. We can identify risk factors that lead to violent and aggressive behaviors as well as protective factors that move us away from violence and towards compassion, kindness, connection, and resilience. We are bridging the biochemical and behavioral sciences to make the invisible visible.
One of our objectives at The Avielle Foundation is to replace the use of mental health with brain health in our daily dialogue and medical care. Join us in ending the stigma and add brain health to your vocabulary.
This article by John V. Campo, MD in Statnews.com lays out the importance of treating brain health in the same way we treat physical health. John V. Campo, MD, is professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio.