Happy April, SynerLink friends,
Some of you may not be aware of my work with the Board of the International Network of Integrative Mental Health (www.INIMH.org), so I thought I’d take a moment this month to update you. This wonderful group recently organized an educational exchange to Cuba with the help of MEDICC (Medical Education Cooperative with Cuba). It was an amazing learning experience and a unique opportunity to connect with mental health professionals in Cuba. We were, of course, very impressed with the Cuba health care system’s focus on prevention as well as their commitment to integrative health care, with complementary and alternative medicines – Natural and Traditional Medicine to Cuban s – being not only available, but an integral, valued part of the public health care system. However, what struck me most about our visit was the sense of community and connection. The neighborhood family doctor not only knew each patient, but knew their family, even having a “family chart” that collected everyone’s medical information. The warmth and connection they offer to one another as a community, and which supports them in thriving despite their economic hardship, was palpable. As we in the States get more isolated from one another, spending more and more time alone behind our screens, I can’t help but wonder – how can we capture the best of both worlds? How can we create a society that provides the freedom and comforts of the U.S. while not losing the sense of connection and community that Cuba has in abundance – and which we ourselves once enjoyed, as well? What can you do this month to build community in your neighborhood and in your life? Enjoy this month’s feature article, which is a beautiful photo slide show by photographer Alex Webb, who has been documenting street life in Cuba for 20 years.
Don’t forget – My new e-book, 7 Foundations of Health and Happiness: First Steps, is ready and FREE for you to download here:
I hope that it will support you on your journey to a life you love.
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Best wishes for your health and happiness,
Chanel Helgason, MD