Palm Health Foundation wants all Palm Beach County residents to add the term “brain health” to their vocabulary. As you probably know from learning about our Train the Brain campaign and exploring this website, it is just as important to take care of your brain as it is to take care of your body.
The foundation has been shining a spotlight on brain health because we know that your overall health and wellbeing is intimately connected to the good health of your brain. As part of our efforts to advance brain health in our community and continue the conversation around our brains beyond Train the Brain month, the foundation is teaming up with the FAU Brain Institute to present *Brainy Days in March.
Brainy Days is a month-long series of lectures on various brain health topics, from Alzheimer’s and autism to the impact that gut bacteria and violence have on the brain.
During Brainy Days, Palm Health Foundation is holding a private event featuring Dr. Jeremy Richman of The Avielle Foundation. Dr. Richman’s work in brain health has inspired Palm Health Foundation, along with many other institutions in our community. His daughter, Avielle, was murdered in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, CT in 2012. Since the loss of his daughter, Dr. Richman has made brain research, community engagement and education his life’s mission.
Dr. Richman uses the term “brain health” when discussing his work because it helps folks get beyond the stigma that comes with the terms “mental health” and “mental illness,” and represents a physical organ that can be injured, repaired and preserved. The Avielle Foundation explains their position on using the term “brain health” here:
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.The Avielle Foundation
Join Palm Health Foundation and The Avielle Foundation in adding “brain health” to your vocabulary.
*Most Brainy Days events are free – click here for more information and to register!