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Brain Health 101

Brain science is the least explored of all our sciences. As a result, there is a lot of fear, trepidation, and shame associated with the invisible world of brain illnesses (referred to as “mental illnesses”). People are afraid to advocate for themselves and their loved ones to get appropriate help in times of need. But the brain is just another organ, and as such, can be healthy or unhealthy. In the Brain Health 101 Workshop we discuss what is known and what is not known when it comes to the genetic and environmental risk factors for engaging in violence to self or others and the protective factors that build kindness, connection, compassion, and resilience. We delve into the neuro-biological and environmental factors associated with violence and compassion and discuss how the everyday citizen can apply these insights in their own lives, families, classrooms, and workplaces. We explore the neurological wiring for in-group and out-group identity, cognitive biases, and cognitive dissonance. We conclude with a call to action – to evolve – to recognize that humans are a communal species. In order to fulfill our evolutionary potential, indeed to be human, to survive, and to thrive, we need to celebrate the diversity of genetics, cultures, and imaginations, and we need to learn how to be humane.

Our specific learning objectives are:

  1. To understand the brain as the organ housing memories, feelings, and behaviors
  2. To recognize the value of making the invisible ‘mental’ health world, a visible and tangible world of ‘brain’ health
  3. To identify and explore risk factors for violence and protective factors for compassion
  4. To find strategies to break down the barriers for people getting brain health help
  5. To evolve and recognize that to be human we must first be humane

The workshops can range from 3-6 hours depending on the needs.