What do we stand for?

Have you ever wondered about what makes us humans? Would it be our ability to perceive our existence and our subjectivity? Would it be our ability to manage good and bad emotions and feelings, to deal and learn from them? Or is it the way we take care of other people’s sufferings?

At Instituto Cactus we argue that mental health is the common denominator to all of this, like a transversal, that impacts and is impacted by different aspects of our lives at the same time. This ability to be, to live, to think about the world, to act and to relate to it – all of it is mental health.

To us, mental health is the starting point for living our experiences to the fullest, and it is what provides us with memories, stories and affections, as well as with the simple awareness of being alive.

Nonetheless, mental health should not be the same as having a perfect life, nor just about being well, light or carefree. A healthy mental state is not about maintaining a toxic positivity that denies suffering and inequalities, romanticizes crisis situations, and neglects structural problems.

Mental health is an inseparable part of our health, given that body and mind always go together. It is part of our biological and psychological functioning, of both our personal and social bodies. It is what allows us to live in harmony with what we think and feel. It is what makes us know who we are, allows us to act on who we want to be, makes us aware of our wishes, weaknesses, and limitations – and intertwines all these different forces with each other, as well as with our surroundings.

Instituto Cactus aims to broaden the debate and the care practices related to mental health. To support our cause, to reverberate our actions and to multiply our learning is to spin the wheels that continuously impact all of us, every day of our lives. There is no hard stop when it comes to mental health, as it permanently and continuously influences our experiences in the world.

We work to unite the ends of this guiding thread that is mental health, as a means to generate a structural impact to society. After all, we cannot improve anything in society without first looking at its individuals. We believe that with knowledge, empathy, prevention, better public policies and a more humanized culture with regards to mental health, we can improve the quality of life for all Brazilians.

Bringing together government, science and communities, we aim to broaden our notion of health, as we keep talking, reflecting and taking action on it. Mental health matters and it is everyone’s business, every day.

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