Kaveh KavoosiMay 5

The Future of Mental Health

Close of a woman's hands holding a mug with another person's arms crossed sitting across from her.

I have never had more confidence in the opportunities that are available for addressing mental health.

Resources can be made available. Awareness can be brought to the subject of mental health, and the barriers preventing addressing, healing and betterment can be explored. Supportive modalities can be added to support the maintenance and well-being of one’s mental health.

On an institutional level, it has been a massive responsibility and opportunity for individuals to incorporate quality into societal mental health support maintenance. It’s difficult to believe the truth that there was little improvement or acknowledgment of the importance surrounding the health and state of how individuals felt until recently. In addition, even today a lot of stigma remains especially in many parts of the World.

“The future that was yesterday was the future of times before.”

The moment that you are experiencing now was once the future that someone, maybe you, was looking forward to or awaiting as a period on the horizon.

It came, it’s here now, and it’s passed.

Time is fixed, yet, our experience of it is relative.

Time is this fleeting subjective constant that we use to organize our life into checkpoints that are points of reference or for guidance. Harnessing the depth of understanding surrounding the finiteness that we all individually have as living beings is what invigorates a curiosity from within to take action on the things that matter to us.

As a rule of thumb, as anyone gets closer (approximates) to what they perceive to be the end of life or end of a cycle of something, a job, a relationship, a trip, a moment, there is an increase in appreciation, immersion, presence for the qualitatively nurturing aspects of that experience, even that one as immense as life itself, if some expression of fear doesn’t sweep in.

The consideration of our feelings, thoughts, beliefs, anything blocking change, growth, appreciation, gratitude, become more available. They are embedded into our identity, of which there is an innumerable number of stories that our identity utilizes to uphold its sense of itself; to understand the World, but more importantly to survive it.

We can only invite reflection and reconsideration of a narrative within those stories that the identity upholds rigidly when we confront it. Often by force, we are forced to look there. Our eyes may close and we look away. It may be too painful, what is seen. Or, we look but don’t understand. Conclusions can be made and adaptations in the narratives shift the identity to another method of survival.

This is the way most people consider their evolution, and their mental health reacts to it, ultimately living a defensive approach to life that mitigates challenges and threats to the identity. The stories that our identity lives by believe that they are immortal, and in their immortality, they can live with us until our last breath. They can also be brought to confront their mortality.

There is a gift that is intrinsically ingrained in choosing to spend time understanding ourselves. It has the capacity to lead us to these ends, the finiteness of the stories we were living by. The mortality of a story. When an aspect of our identity is intentionally explored, what can be revealed is:

1. How the story and narrative surrounding that portion of our identity was an adaptation and not necessarily our truth.

2. A cathartic realization that where we once found comfortable, sought refuge, felt stuck or challenged was not what we perceived it to be.

3. Awareness that life can shift through the conclusions that we came upon.

There, we open ourselves up to possibilities, opportunities; more of life becomes available. Or at least, life is experienced with less rigidity. As long as one cannot see, our thoughts, feelings, actions, drives will lean towards upholding the narratives that we accepted, were conditioned to, or we adapted to. Possibilities & opportunities can be stepped to, and aspects of us, previously unavailable, are reclaimable.

That is what the future entails. But what it requires is the desire and willingness of the society and the individual to prioritize the health of the mind in the same light as the body. There are very few tools that individuals have been brought up to have equipped with from a young age. Can you imagine that?

One of the most important aspects of understanding ourselves and us in relation to the World, was left alone to ‘figure it out’. It’s not hard to imagine that the downstream of “figure it out and make your own World in reaction to how your mental health feels” has a World looking outside like it currently does inside for most of us. Places that are beautiful, promising and effective, while others are chaotic, dangerous, neglected, forgotten, explored, unexplored, deplorable…etc. Sites of incarceration, no different than the life sentences we have on ourselves on behalf of certain beliefs or life experiences we had, or beautiful vast oceans that interconnect our minds that we pollute intermittently or often with toxins that, for a while, like the oceans, the body can neutralize. But only for so long.

The time is yesterday to take action in making efforts to supporting the well-being of the health of our psyche. Individual. Groups. Companies. Society as a whole. What will be worth understanding and exploring with both care and curiosity are the gadgets that exist and are on their way that will have us gain greater insight for ourselves with avenues available to understand and improve our mental health.

New industries, companies, and influential individuals will emerge, as they already are, with contributions to betterment, damage control, to crisis management.

What will become available will have to incorporate recognition of the individuals' behaviour, environments, and nature. The foundational shifts that will have the greatest impact will always come back to non-technological interventions.

One concept discussed by NeuralLink by Elon Musk was rewiring how the brain processes information through what’s called BMI’s (brain-machine interface). Though I believe it can have benefits, bypassing parts of our minds would equate to bypassing the parts that make us human. What we seek is not the same as what we intend, and with awareness, we can get to the same place we intend to go with a (now) theoretical tool like this by making our mental health and state of being a priority for every one individual. I would include this in basic universally important to meet needs of a human concerning the quality of life.

Ultimately, the World may universally accept that mental health is insurmountable without the support of an external medium. But, if we never gave credit, confidence, trust and merit to the inherent value present in our capacity to explore the depths of our own inner Worlds effectively, decorticating, liberating, and confronting the places that disgusted us, beliefs we had imposed, aspects of life and our identity that we feared the most, did we really put our best foot forward to understand ourselves better, or did we place another band-aid on top of the wound?

A robot at 50% opacity is superimposed on an image of a man walking down a path.

Today, explore these questions:

1. What is the State of my Mental Health?

2. How have I understood myself more this year? This month? This week?

3. What hinders the maintenance and improvement of my state of mental health?

Where do I feel I will be in one month?

In whatever state you are now, things going ‘horribly’ or ‘going great’, Id invite you to consider setting up four therapy sessions with someone in your area or online. Get an idea of where you are now, and for the next month, have these four therapy sessions. Then, come back and see what you learned, where you feel more open, curious, lighter, maybe even angry, sad.

If you are more aware of your mental health, you are more capable to work with it as life continues to evolve and happen. This progressive adaptability results in more spaces for presence. You become more trusting of yourself and less dependent on the World.

The health of your mind can be evaluated from your wealth of life that you are capable to be present to. This is what the future entails; our capacity to digest this truth.