Mental ill-health – better described as psychological and emotional distress – fundamentally involves consciousness, a subjective awareness and experience. So if we misunderstand the nature of consciousness, then likely we will not be best placed to help those in distress.
But what is consciousness? Where does it come from? Is it is something that only humans have? Is the mind something different from the physical brain? Is consciousness real?
Such questions have been answered across the centuries in various different ways by philosophers and theologians, and also more recently by neuroscientists, psychologists, physicists and others.
One approach to this topic – see the 10 minute video below (which ends with a link to the full 30 minute video on the website of the Institute of Art and Ideas) – is provided by Prof. Philip Goff. The video producers say:
“Could all matter in the universe be conscious? Professor of Philosophy Philip Goff argues that panpyschism is real and solves the deep problems of materialism and dualism that have plagued philosophy for centuries.”