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Brain/Mental Health Awareness

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As May is world mental health awareness month. We will discuss brain health and the nervous system. This will include –

  • Definition of Brain health
  • Burden of neurological conditions
  • Nutrition – Best foods, key supplements, essential oils & natural herbs
  • Things to avoid & biohacks
  • Mental support

Brain health is defined as the state of brain functioning across cognitive, sensory, social-emotional, behavioural and motor domains, allowing a person to realise their full potential over the life course, irrespective of the presence or absence of disorders.

Mental and Brain Health Determinants

Brain health determinants are related to physical health, healthy environments, safety and security, life-long learning and social connection as well as access to quality services influence the way our brains develop, adapt and respond to stress and adversity.

Optimising brain health by addressing these determinants not only improves mental and physical health but also creates positive social and economic impacts that contribute to greater well-being and help advance society.

Conditions affecting the brain and nervous system in general emerge throughout the life course and are characterised by disruptions in brain growth, damage to brain structure and/or impaired brain functioning. These include for example congenital and neurodevelopmental conditions as well as neurological disorders across the life. 

Health and social care for these conditions require multisectoral and interdisciplinary collaborations with a holistic person-centred approach that Balanced Healing uses to focus on promotion, prevention, treatment, care and rehabilitation and the active engagement of persons with lived experience, their families and carers.


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The Burden of Neurological Conditions

The global burden of neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions is high, with approximately 70% of the burden in low- and middle-income countries. Neurological conditions are the leading cause of disability adjusted life years (DALYs) and account for about 9 million deaths per year.

While in South Africa, a new study reveals that South Africans suffer higher rates of probable depression and anxiety than other countries. Our study shows that 25.7% of South Africans are probably depressed, with more than a quarter of respondents reporting moderate to severe symptoms of depression.

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Nutrition & other Brain Health Tips

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Mental health awareness month is vital year round as it aims to save lives and break the stigma around mental illness.

It is best to seek professional from your doctor or health care practitioner if you notice any symptoms of mental illness or have suicidal thoughts. Mental illness may get worse if it is left untreated, so taking action is of the essence.

If you notice symptoms of a mental illness in a loved one, it’s best to have an open discussion with them about your concern. Although you might not be able to force them to see, professional care, you can still offer them support and encouragement. You can also help them to find a qualified mental health professional and make an appointment. You can even offer to go along with them to the appointment.

Take your loved one to a hospital or call for help if they have harmed themselves or are considering doing so.

Although there is no way to prevent mental illness, it’s possible to take steps to control your symptoms if you have been diagnosed with a mental illness. These include –

  • controlling stress,
  • increasing resilience
  • boosting low self-esteem.

Keep an eye out for warning signs, learn what your triggers are and make sure you know what to do if symptoms present themselves. It’s always best to ask your doctor or healthcare practitioner and therapist for guidance and advice in this aspect.

Make sure that you get help when symptoms appear since it could be harder to treat if you wait until the symptoms are bad.

And remember to take good care of yourself – get enough sleep, eat healthily and get exercise.

If you have any problems with any of these or have questions, see a professional to get the help you need to take control of your mental health. 

Balanced Healing’s mental health services include –

  • Acudetox for addictions and substance abuse
  • Supplements to aid mental health
  • Infusion therapy



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