In this last episode of our series on mental health we have a candid discussion of what the future of mental health is. With more and more companies offering mental wellness programs and addressing the psychological needs of their employees as a critical part of company culture. How therapy has its place but is no longer the forefront of human development and potential. We discuss:
This podcast represents the opinions of Debra Berndt Maldonado and Robert Maldonado, PhD. The content here should not be taken as medical/mental health advice. The content here is for informational purposes only, and because each person is so unique, please consult your mental healthcare professional for your mental health questions.
What is the Future of Mental Health Transcript
Welcome to Soul Sessions with CreativeMind with Debra Berndt Maldonado and Dr. Rob Maldonado of CreativeMind. Join us each week for inspiring conversation about personal development based on Jungian philosophy, Eastern spirituality, and social neuroscience. Spend each week with us to explore deep topics in a practical way. Let's begin.
Debra Maldonado 00:28
Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Soul Sessions with CreativeMind. I'm Debra Maldonado, here with Dr. Rob Maldonado. We’re finalizing our series on mental health. This episode is the future of mental health. What can we do in the future, what’s in store for us to improve the mental health of our society? Before we get started, I'd love for you to subscribe to our channel, click on the button in the corner. If you're watching us on YouTube, subscribe here. If you're listening to a podcast service, make sure you click “subscribe” on your podcast service and don’t miss another episode. Let's review a bit where we were at and where we're going. We talked about children's mental health issues.
Robert Maldonado 01:21
With kids, primarily, the main message we wanted to get across is that we have really good knowledge about brain development, social skills, just development in general and how we can support kids. We have this knowledge, all we need to do is implement. Then we looked at women's mental health issues. There we see, again, that if we support women, we support society, because they create community, they take care of kids, they build new businesses, new life essentially. It's an important thing to keep in mind that if we want to help the world, we need to support women.
Debra Maldonado 02:13
The third one is mental health with men and the stigma. We talked about stigma in mental health in general, but for men, it's even worse, they're less likely to seek treatment or seek help because of the stigma of a man having anxiety, or a man being depressed, or having even more serious issue or diagnosis, that they don't want to deal with. They often deal with it through alcohol or drugs, or trying to be successful and pushing their feelings away, or athletics, using the grunting or working out to escape from their mindset, not really dealing and coping with their emotions. This episode is about what's the future? We have so much information, there's so much available. We know so much about the mind. We know the brain, the mind, and the emotions, and we have all these tools. Why are we at this state? Why is the world at such a critical state in mental health?
Robert Maldonado 03:25
We put together this list of projections, recommendations for future development in mental health, so that we can start to have these conversations not only in the mental health community, but in the coaching community, in education, in politics. We need to bring these ideas to the forefront. Of course, this is not a comprehensive list, but it's a start. We think these factors are some of the most important ones. First of all, prevention, just like in health, prevention goes a long way in avoiding mental health issues. Lifestyle is the key to prevention. We need to help people change their lifestyle, understand how stress, work, family disruptions, health issues play into the mental wellness of people.
Debra Maldonado 04:39
If you don't address it when it's small, you push it aside, it'll get to a critical point. Just like with physical health, if you keep eating fats and sugars, you get a heart attack. Maybe we start off sooner and eat healthier to prevent that intense event in the body. We need to do the same with the mind, how we create a lifestyle where we're not stressed out. Chronic stress is very high in society, it's a normalization of it, especially in America. We go to Europe, everyone's relaxed, if any of our European friends or listeners come to the US, you can feel the tension. There's a lot more tension, a lot more needing to gain success, have a bigger house than your neighbor, have better furniture, your kids getting the awards at school, this competitiveness, this exceptionalism. It puts a lot of pressure on people. We do not have the same time off people have overseas. It's work, have two days off, then maybe go back to the grind again, it's really stressful. How can we change our work habits? How can we change our eating habits? We can start preventing things for our life to be happier and whole so it doesn't reach those critical points.
Robert Maldonado 06:18
One of the optimistic perspectives is that we see a lot of people practicing yoga. Yoga has become so popular, not only in the US, but around the world. This is a great sign that people are paying attention to their lifestyle. Yoga is a complete system, complete mind body system, hits all the marks, it's talking about diet, it's talking about breath work, it's talking about relaxation, as well as mind body exercises that help you relax, be flexible, be well in your body. It's an incredible way to prevent not only physical illness, but mental health illnesses as well.
Debra Maldonado 07:14
It gets you in your body, we live in our heads so much. Having some movement process that we do, even meditation to get into our bodies, not looking to escape all the time. That's also great. The second point is empowerment, we need to change our conversation around mental health, see it less of mental health is only for people that are diagnosed with some disorder and need to get treatment, therapy, or medication. Mental health is wellness, it's about being in peace with your body, having a peaceful mind, being able to manage emotions and not stuff them where you let them fly off the handle, get angry, deal with anger or your uncomfortable emotions, how do we work with them? All that is empowerment versus pathologizing: unless we're the perfect calm person, there must be something wrong with us.
Robert Maldonado 08:20
That's part of the stigma. We tend to frame mental health issues in the medical model, we see it as pathology, there is a problem and we need to fix it through medication, intervention, serious therapies. Of course, some people need that, there's nothing wrong with that. But most of us, if we're dealing with stress, if we're dealing with everyday mental health issues like anxiety and depression, before they get to those clinical levels, it's not a pathology, it's simply our mind telling us “You need to pay attention, you need to find a way to relax, you need to find a way to approach life in a more open and creative way.”
Debra Maldonado 09:19
It's a gift when something doesn't work out in our life to not pathologize it. When I first started doing personal development, it was like “You're single, you must have something broken in you, that's why you don't have the relationship” or “You're not making money, you must have some money wound or your inner child needs healing.” If you don't have the outer successes in life, there must be something wrong with you. We have to change that conversation from something is wrong with you to there's something pointing to what needs your attention, you have the power to change and impact, powering people so more people would do personal development. Even personal development has a stigma. You are going to a workshop, you're always working on yourself. What if it's not working on yourself, what if it's about evolving yourself and growing instead of that fixing mentality. There's a lot of blending with therapy and personal development where it feels like I’d go to a workshop and be like “I have to deal with forgiving my father again, or working on my inner child.” It's exhausting after a while, it will push people away and discourage people. What if we can approach it in a more empowering way that we're going to get to know ourselves. The more we know about ourselves, the more control we have over our life. It's an exciting and creative thing to do versus this terrible weight we have to dig ourselves out of.
Robert Maldonado 10:52
Finally, these trends we see that give us hope that things are moving in the right direction. We see technology taking on a very creative role now, because people are accepting more this telehealth model. You can talk to your physician online through Zoom, through other modes, you can talk to your therapist through the computer, so you don't have to go to the office. You can get coaching, you can learn at home through your computer. It also means we can reach people wherever they are. They live in a farm somewhere in Iowa? No problem.
Debra Maldonado 11:46
You can build a community if you don't have friends nearby, if you live in a place where there's not a lot of connection, you could build a community online now. There's a way for you to connect.
Robert Maldonado 11:57
It's just starting because as technology evolves and people embrace this model, it means we'll be able to reach everyone on the planet, no one will be without services. If they need it, it will be there.
Debra Maldonado 12:13
They have those apps now like Calm, these meditation apps, Insight Timer, my meditations are on that one. You can listen to these meditations, it's free for download, you can listen to breathing exercises. All those things are readily available now to anyone, it doesn't cost any money except to have a phone, which we all have. It's easy to have access now much more than ever before. You don't have to wait to go to a yoga class to experience breath work. Even yoga now is on YouTube, you can plug in YouTube yoga class and take one at home. Technology's really amazing.
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Robert Maldonado 13:51
The other trend is psychedelics. This is exciting. We're not saying go out and try but educate yourself on it. The research indicates that it has great potential to help people get out of depression and anxiety.
Debra Maldonado 14:16
From a Jungian coaching perspective, how would you see psychedelics for someone who is getting trained as a Jungian coach? They wouldn’t facilitate it but understanding what happens in those states?
Robert Maldonado 14:34
There's a lot of connections to Jung's work because he was looking at shamanism. He was looking at traditional cultures and what symbols they use in healing and ritual enactments of transformation.
Debra Maldonado 14:54
The symbols that show up when you do these type of retreats, you see all these symbols They come from the collective unconscious, understanding what they mean, what they symbolize for you is very powerful. It's more than just having a high, you can actually use them for your own personal growth afterwards. It's like a heightened dream experience because in our dreams we have symbols as well.
Robert Maldonado 15:20
The great Swami Vivekananda said, all religions have three factors: a philosophy, a ritual, a mythology. Plants, plant rituals, magical plants that come from that tradition have a rich mythology behind it, they’re ritualized in that they're not meant for recreational use. It's not just to have fun, or have these mental experiences, they were specifically designed and enacted to help the individual transform their lives.
Debra Maldonado 16:06
It's not just “I want to go and have this magical experience”, we want to use it toward growth.
Robert Maldonado 16:13
These plants evolved along with humans, humans evolved along with the plants. The reason they're powerful for us is because we have the neurotransmitters or the neuroreceptors for their chemistry to impact us. They're friendly to us, they support us. We need to understand them, we need to use them responsibly, in a ritualistic way, in the context that they evolved in, so that we can have transformations. The research indicates it's a viable way to help people with their depression, addiction, all kinds of mental health issues.
Debra Maldonado 17:08
The most amazing thing that happened since the 90s is coaching. It started out as executive coaching, that's the first out of the gate, maybe sports coaching has always been around, but executive coaching, setting goals, working with your mindset was superficial. As we evolved, the internet started exploding in the 90s, everyone started to share their personal growth stories, they were able to coach, have workshops and courses. Personal development became much more accessible to a lot of people. You don't have to wait for the workshop at your wellness center on the weekend, you could just plug into a course online. The coaching industry is the second fastest growing industry in the US. Technology is the only one succeeding it. It’s an alternative to therapy, not to replace therapy, but for people that are high functioning — most people are high functioning, most people need preventative measures. We talked about the first point, coaching can be a prevention of more serious mental health issues down the line. If you have a coach, you're more likely not to sink down into darker places, you're gonna have someone help motivate you how to be accountable in your life. We have to say Jungian coaching is a little deeper than setting goals. Jungian coaching is a depth coaching model where we go into the unconscious, we get to the deeper functions of what's driving someone, what's making them make lifestyle choices that are not positive, what's driving them to be overwhelmed, try to succeed and burn out. We want to work with the whole person when we come to coaching. This depth coaching model is becoming more popular. A lot of people say “I'm tired of the fluff. I want to go deep”, it's a great sign.
Robert Maldonado 19:20
There's a lot of reasons to be optimistic about the future as far as mental health goes. Prevention, we need to enact ways to help people transform their lifestyle, empowerment instead of pathology. When pathology is appropriate, no problem. But most of us need that empowerment factor to transform our lives, to understand that if we're not happy with where we're at, we can change it, we have the power to change it. These trends in technology, psychedelics, and coaching are becoming more acceptable.
Debra Maldonado 20:03
Wellness, yoga, meditation breath work, people are looking for natural ways to work with their mind that are very beneficial and have been around for thousands of years. Finally the modern world is catching up and saying maybe these things have some merit. Our advice to you is to ask yourself, what are you doing every week? You don't have to do it every day but every week, you should be doing something for your mental wellness, you should be making sure you're not stressed. Taking time for yourself, not just shutting out on Netflix, just watching TV, it is the stress. Take a walk, do something, meditate, reach out, find a group, find a coach to help you take your mental health very seriously, because it will pay off as you get older. When you hit really tragic things in your life, you will be prepared mentally to deal with things that are tough in life. That's our advice. Hope you enjoyed this series, don't forget to subscribe to our channel here on YouTube in the corner there, click the button. If you are listening to us on Spotify or iTunes or other podcast services, click Subscribe and make sure you receive every episode of Soul Sessions. We’re Debra Maldonado and Robert Maldonado, signing off.
Robert Maldonado 21:40
See you soon.
Debra Maldonado 21:41
Thank you for joining us. Don't forget to subscribe to CreativeMind Soul Sessions. Join us next week as we explore another deep topic where you can consciously create your life with CreativeMind Soul Session. See you next time.