Ha! We said free psychedelics. We knew that’ll get you to open this week’s email…
This is the Masawa Minute – mental wellness, social impact, and impact investing snippets from what we’ve read the last two weeks + where you can get active.
We’re often so consumed with the news about the world that it’s easy to forget about ourselves. We’re guilty of this too – there’s news on mental wellness and social impact popping up every hour and there’s an endless road of learning ahead if we’re to make our vision of bringing mental wellness to billions of people come true.
That’s why this time, we’ve made a point of reading about things that concern our (and your) mind and mental health. Enjoy and don’t forget to make time for yourself this week!
Busy days ahead! Masawa’s Founder & Managing Partner Joshua Hanes will be speaking in 2 conferences during the upcoming weeks, which we invite you to check out.
The conference is taking place between 21-24 of September. The event this year is dedicated to “Building Alliances for Impact”.
This conference is an event anyone building a foundation or an impact fund wouldn’t want to miss – the schedule is filled with impressive speakers, discussions, workshops and opportunities to network and co-create with 700+ practitioners and experts in the field of impact. If you’re one of them, that’s a conference you shouldn’t miss!
When you do, you can also catch Joshua for a session around the NetworkTable.
This summit, happening between October 1-3, is a significant event for impact investment in the Andean Region.
This year’s event is conducted in three forms: Inspiration to Recalibrate, Workshops with Practical Outlines and Networking Wheel. You can expect making connections in the impact investing community, being introduced to new perspectives, and participating in many exciting sessions.
Joshua will be on a panel en Español focus on the importance of focusing on entrepreneurs’ mental wellness.
What we’re reading…
If you feel like you’ve heard about the climate crisis a lot lately, that’s because the threat posed by changing climate affects people’s lives everyday. Not only is climate change altering the entire ecosystem we are a part of, but it’s also affecting our mental health.
It was recently brought up (again) by a psychiatrist Dr. Lise Van Susteren in a public hearing for a liquified natural gas terminal and 230-mile pipeline development in Oregon, during which she was escorted out of the room. She’s far from the only psychiatrist who’s speaking up. A network of climate-focused psychiatrists, known as the Climate Psychiatry Alliance (CPA), has started in the US and by now has attracted over 400 members. They help people face what’s becoming the new reality as well as encourage the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to act more sustainably and take a stronger stance on the subject of climate.
Increasing the scope of work like theirs is essential for building long-lasting resilience in the future, without which we won’t be able to face climate change effectively. All of us should think more about how we can contribute – reading this article is a good place to start.
We usually see dreams as a play of our subconsciousness. Dreams are mosaics of things we’ve seen or experienced in real life, however, the ways of interpreting them differ drastically. Now scientists are adding some spark to the discussion. They’ve designed a series of experiments revolving around collecting dream reports from thousands of people to analyze how they could reflect the current events that are troubling the world.
The most extensive digital dream study so far is created by Cambridge University’s Nokia Bell Labs – they tested the system by analyzing 38,000 documented dreams from a large variety of people. In the long run, scientists hope that those techniques will offer insight into the collective unconscious in the digital space and assist therapy as well as personal growth. Taking a scientific look beyond our consciousness would undoubtedly open up a new realm of possibilities.
When was the last time you picked up a journal and wrote about your day? If the answer is leaning towards “it’s been a while,” you might want to pick it up again. It’s one of the easiest ways to relax, tame your racing thoughts, get to know yourself better, as well as a legitimate tool likely to improve your mental wellness.
As with everything else, the most important thing is to get started. Don’t set yourself too ambitious goals – nothing kills a habit faster than that. It’s okay (great, even) if you write only a couple of sentences a day about something you did, an emotion you felt or what’s generally on your mind. Once it becomes a small yet cherished daily ritual, you’ll find that you’re less troubled by the ruminating thoughts as well as less controlled by your emotions. This article from the New York Times shares some tips and tricks that you can use to get started or improve your current journaling game – worked for us!
Psychedelics are steadily making their way into the mainstream mental wellness conversation. They’ve been seen as particularly promising in treating depression, even though a standardized treatment involving psychedelics remains out of reach due to the stigma and excessive costs.
Dr. Rossalind Watts, the former lead of the Psilocybin for Depression Study at the Centre for Psychedelic Research in London, believes psychedelic-assisted therapy is both effective and safe. She currently works at a psychedelic retreat center in the Netherlands, where she assists in developing treatments involving psilocybin and mushrooms.
As more and more people are receiving psychedelic treatments despite all the obstacles, those working in the field hope that the healthcare specialists will recognize the value of it soon and start recommending it to patients. Word is, that now it’s only a matter of time when psychedelics become mainstream – with the ultimate goal of such treatments being covered by health insurance. When that happens, we’ll be there for it.
The scope of mental illness is incredibly far-reaching, however, too many individuals don’t have access to treatment or therapy for various reasons such as stigma, affordability, or access. A New York-based filmmaker Wendy Cong Zhao noticed the same issue affecting the city’s Chinese immigrants community. While doing her research, she met Fan Jiang, a person familiar with the ins and outs of therapy in New York, and decided to make a documentary about her experiences.
That’s the story told in this article – the feeling of grappling with mental health issues, visualizing the stigma, the toll that relocating and into a completely different culture takes on mental health, numerous encounters with therapy, anxiety and healing. Reading (and seeing) other people’s stories can be a great way to confront our own. Turning that into art becomes its own form of therapy – it provides a safe space to recognize the feelings surrounding mental illness and process them from some distance. And that’s something everyone needs from time to time.
It was once said that all good things take longer than expected, or something cheesy like that. We reached a major milestone this week after working on it for months — a business bank account. Shockingly simple, we know, but for some reason the universe said that it wasn’t time, yet. (And it’s with a leading sustainability bank, nonetheless!) Now after raising the Friends + Family Round for what seemed like years, we’re able to finally close it. Wow + ha! But we’re still dancing for the little things!
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