E X P L O R I N G
Mental Health 
Encouraging productive interaction among people from diverse perspectives, promoting new and continual exploration of issues relating to mental health and broader issues relating to the body/brain/mind/self, and facilitating the new openings which emerge from the sharing of perspectives.
Culture and Behavior
Materials offered here are intended to encourage the exploration of the relationship between social/cultural organization and the individual.
*NEW* Mental Health and the Brain Working Group, Spring 2009  - a conversation with particular attention to brain research and experiences from the inside.
Models of Mental Health: A Critique and Prospectus  - "People approach issues of mental health from a variety of different perspectives... People argue about the relative merits of the various perspectives, most characteristically by pointing out the shortcomings of perspectives different from those one favors oneself. Such critiques can be productive but are only a step in a larger task: to develop broader perspectives that can productively incorporate the different useful insights reached from each of a variety of different points of view..."
Genes, Brains, and Being Social: The Gregarious Brain  - a short essay and public on-line discussion from the Brain Stories blog 
Elsewhere on the web
Culture-Bound Syndromes  - a paper about the dichotomy of "nature" and "nurture"
The Cultural Context of Psychological Approaches to Alcoholism  - a historical survey of the alcoholism as disease theory
Soliloquy or Psychosis? A Cultural Look at Schizophrenia  - a survey of theories of schizophrenia
Extraordinary Claims in Cross-Cultural Context  - a look at how different cultures make sense of "extraordinary" experiences
Health and Behavior: The Interplay of Biological, Behavioral and Societal Influences  - an online text provided by The National Academies Press
The Diagnosis of Eating Disorders in Women of Color  - an article by a clinical psychologist
Contribution of Psychosocial Factors to Socioeconomic Differences in Health  - an extensive discussion
The Myth of Mental Illness  - original essay by Thomas Szasz
Matter over mind by David Karp  "There is danger in all single-minded models for explaining mental illness..."
Supporting Boys or Girls When the Line Isn't Clear  (NY Times)
Freud Meets Buddha: Therapy for Immigrants; Disorders From the East Emerge Here  (NY Times), Making Room on the Couch for Culture  (NY Times) - similarities and differences in experience across cultures.
In the spirit of Serendip, thoughts, contributions, and ideas for additions/changes are both invited and encouraged. Visitors are welcomed to post comments and thoughts using the form below or may also submit comments directly to Serendip .