Southfield (CW50) – Mental Health has been at the forefront of many discussions over the last several years. During the initial lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic, a nationwide concern over the effect it would have on the mental health of others was a focal point of discussions.

The traditional, institutional approach to mental health is not something that works for everyone. That’s why in 2016, Brooke Buys decided to take a different approach. After several years in the field of social work, Buys is now a lecturer at the University of Michigan, and the Founder and CEO of BLND Health, a mental health care company located in multiple states.

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At BLND Health, Buys and her team don’t use the traditional approach to mental health care. She formed a blend of different offerings, theoretical frameworks, and modalities made to fit each unique person instead of expecting the person to fit into the system. The care is not about providing something that professionals believe will work for the client, the care is focused on building a foundation around what works for the client. Working hand-in-hand with the client to help them build a better life focused on what works best for them.

The team of practitioners, graduate student interns, wellness coaches, performance coaches, and community health partners all visit clients in-office, at-home, virtually, wherever the client feels comfortable to speak. They treat the whole person to improve your mental, emotional, and physical health by providing individual services, family care, couples sessions, and groups.

“Our intention is to help you discover connection and passion beyond symptom reduction and maintenance — allowing you to build self-efficacy and self-esteem that values deeper meaning within your personal relationships and environments.”

BLND Health also takes the unique step of not requiring a diagnosis to help you in your journey.

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BLND Health acknowledges that mental health diagnosis and labels can be really helpful for individuals navigating understanding their own behaviors and mental health challenges. “But it’s not aligned with our values to lead with labels.”

Here’s why:

  • The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, commonly known as the DSM, does not work for everyone. Its diagnostic system is young in comparison to other institutions; it’s based on the ways that disorders present in heterosexual, cisgender white men; and it doesn’t take cultural context or trauma into account.

  • The diagnostic model can be stigmatizing, and its criteria leads to shame and stigma for some of the most vulnerable individuals seeking care. It asks clinicians to focus on clients’ deficits, which centers shame and does not take into account the person’s environment, obstacles, and intersecting identities.

  • The DSM does not allow clinicians to combine diagnoses, even though many people are living with and working through multiple challenges at the same time.

  • The DSM is intertwined with the pharmaceutical industry in ways that prioritize profit over people.

This kind of approach makes mental health care open to everyone who needs it, not just those who are diagnosed with it. Everyone goes through challenges and struggles, and BLND Health meets you where you’re at in your life and doesn’t wait until a doctor tells you the kind of treatment you should seek based on the traditional pathway of the diagnoses.

Brooke Buys, Founder and CEO of BLND Health, with Community Connect Host Lisa Germani.

Brooke Buys, Founder and CEO of BLND Health, joins Lisa Germani on Community Connect to talk about the unique approach her organization takes to mental health care, and provides some methods to discovering the state of your own mental health.

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