Finally, I have found that, in many parts of the world, particularly amongst indigenous communities, there is a far more open-minded approach to the potential benefits, and risks, of drug use for mental health. In the UK it seems that our education on drug use and mental health is limited to “don’t use the illegal ones”, ignoring the potential benefits of certain illegal drugs for mental health, discounting the damaging mental health effects of alcohol, caffeine, and sugar, and failing to educate people on the actual effects of drugs on our mental health. By studying alternative perspectives to drug use and mental health around the world, we can challenge this narrative, and educate ourselves properly on the benefits and costs. We will discuss research, utilizing knowledge from foreign countries and indigenous communities, that discusses the potential mental health costs and benefits of drugs such as marijuana, psilocybin, ayahuasca and MDMA, the last of which Sam has written an excellent blog on that I would encourage anyone to read. Click the button below to have a look.
This year, we plan to discuss the ideas surrounding mental health we’ve learnt from communities worldwide, whether this be techniques learnt in the UK that have global origins, or concepts we’ve come across on our travels, including ideas from Qechuan communities in Peru, refugees and migrants from around the world in European migrant camps, and local village communities in South Asia.
Where’s Wally: Spot the gringo edition
The Blaze-Territory: This song and music video describes the story of a young male migrant being forced to return to his home country, showing the struggles he encompasses in a country with limited prospects and employment opportunities- it’s an important watch for anyone that sees adult male migrants as the enemy, and I hope it goes some way to challenge this prejudice and help people empathise with the position these individuals are put in.
IDLES-Danny Nedelko: This track tells the story of a Ukranian immigrant who is a close friends of the band, and the lead singer of the band Heavy Lungs. The song’s lyrics take aim at nationalism, and celebrate multiculturalism and diversity. A banging song with an important message of unity, love and togetherness.