Defining our Healthy Identity


Healthy Identity is something that we need more than ever. Why?

Counselling and psychotherapy is rarely utilized in the Iranian culture; however more and more individuals are finding interest to get to know their inner world and the self.

Iranian value education highly and they would pay for learning new skills and new professions. Education belongs to the notion of success that Iranian families moved to Canada for. As much as mental health issues are scary for Iranian people, yet many families face the reality that they need education about how are mind is working.

Psychology is becoming the topic of interest for many Iranian women and men out there in the world. The sound of the word “mental” has a negative message to our people, however, having “emotional wellbeing” and “healthy mind” is the reason for the creation of small support groups getting together more than ever. People try to break the cycle of isolation and depression as they always have done it by being in a group “like” them. Men are more resilient and also resistant to the idea of asking for counseling why some would discourage wives to seek help. There is a huge need for raising awareness around the benefits of “mental health” in our Iranian community.

Therapists and psychologists coming in contact with Iranian people should be aware of the individual and group based perception of mental health issues and the traditional negative connotation associated to that. A culturally sensitive approach would be most appreciated and welcomed by many people right now.

Iranian people are a diverse, multicultural and multi ethnic group. Our racial and cultural identity as a group and as individuals has to be defined by each one of us in order as we have lost a group identity.

We should proclaim our identity as who we are, if we are Fars, kurds, Turkes, Baloches, Khosestanies, and what other ethnical groups we belong to.

We should redefine who we are as Iranian Bahaies, Jews, Muslims, Assyrians, Christians, and what other religion we identify with. We come from various beliefs, values and practices. We have to appreciate the fact that we are this rich people with all the different style of life.

We need to prevent more harm, prejudice, racial biases and preconceived notion of who we “really are” by remarking our ethnical and individual identity.

Let’s remember that our experiences are subjective, embodied, and real for us, yet, we have to realize other people’s different version of same experience.

It is to be understood that the complex situation back home and the mass immigration of Iranian people are many times unbearable for many men and women leading to various sort of psychological disturbances.

We Iranian have been persuaded for decades and centuries to be something we are not. We have been disabled to know that we have the rights to claim our “rights”, a hard concept to grasp.

Sense of community and social identity has up to this point been rarely exceeding the cohort of family members, relatives and people from same community. Now the life in migration means that people have to find companionship in social occasions while rising above and beyond their well known cohort. Iranian women value education highly and they would pay for learning new skills and new professions. Education belongs to the notion of success that Iranian families moved to Canada for. Let’s make best of what we have and what we do not have!

July 24, 2007

www.middlepeace.com

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