Community rallies around mental health conversation

Community rallies around mental health conversation

SCI announces series of events tied to "Mental Health: Mind Matters" exhibit

  • Thursday January 31, 2019

If there was any question about the appetite for more dialogue around mental health in Iowa, the answer is clear: Since announcing its latest traveling exhibition, Mental Health: Mind Matters, the Science Center of Iowa (SCI) has received an outpouring of support from community partners, mental health organizations and local leaders asking how they can help.

"The response has been phenomenal," said Curt Simmons, SCI’s president and CEO. "As the Science Center of Iowa, our goal is always to engage audiences around complex science issues that have real meaning. With Mind Matters, the community is really rallying around us to make this more than just an exhibit."

Today, in partnership with Capital Crossroads and a variety of community partners, SCI announced a series of events designed to create awareness about and inspire action around mental illness in the community:

  • Mental Mystery: Unravel the Stigma (Youth Summit)
    Monday, February 11 |  4:30-8:15 pm
    Cost: Free to youth

    At this summit, Central Iowa high school students will gather to experience the Mental Health: Mind Matters exhibition, learn more about the science and cultural stigma around mental illness and discover how to best support mental health for themselves and their peers through breakout sessions with a variety of mental health professionals, area organizations and community leaders.
  • Make It OK: Mental Health in the Workplace
    Monday, March 4 |  9:00 am – 12:00 pm (Morning Session); 1:00-4:00 pm (Afternoon Session)
    Cost: $25
    Mental health impacts all aspects of our lives, including our workplace. At this workshop, attendees will explore the Mental Health: Mind Matters exhibit and hear from Minnesota Public Radio host John Moe. His podcast, “The Hilarious World of Depression,” which USA Today named one of the best new podcasts in 2016, shares how mental health stigma is impacting today’s workplace and will kick off efforts to reduce stigma in the state.
  • Understanding Cultural and Racial Trauma
    Wednesday, March 6 |  8:00-11:30 am
    Cost: $25
    Explore the history and basis of cultural trauma. Learn how it impacts the willingness of ethnic communities and people of color to seek help for a variety of mental health challenges. Keisha Ross, PhD, will engage participants in a session outlining coping mechanisms and cultural considerations for serving communities impacted by trauma. This session will build connections and grow alliances for mental health access and advocacy, with a focus on bridging faith and mental health circles. Dr. Ross is a nationally recognized clinical psychologist with a demonstrated history of working in the settings of nonprofit organizations, independent practice, hospital and government industry.
  • Mind Matters: Mental Health Fair
    Sunday, March 10 |  12:00-5:00 pm
    Cost: Free to the public, no registration required
    On this free admission day, attendees can experience the Mental Health: Mind Matters exhibition, explore the many mental health resources available in Central Iowa and discover all that SCI has to offer. A variety of local organizations and mental health professionals will be available to discuss their offerings and provide free screenings and education about mental health issues..
  • Early Childhood Brain Science: Nurturing Strong Mental Health
    Monday, April 8 |  11:00 am – 2:00 pm
    Cost: $25
    This session will focus on early childhood brain development and the critical role healthy mental development plays in the overall health of Iowa’s children. Dayna Long, MD, medical director for the Department of Community Health and Engagement at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, CA, will guide participants through the current science and best practices for addressing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and reducing toxic stress to improve the health of children.
  • Minds DSM: Stories of Courage and Discovery
    Wednesday, April 10 |  4:30-6:30 pm
    Cost: $25
    When it comes to mental health stigma, how do we as a community work to “Make It OK”? At this event, Iowans who have experienced mental illness will share their stories, and participants will learn actions they can take to dispel misconceptions, reduce stigma and access resources through their community and Iowa’s soon-to-be launchedMake It OK campaign.
  • Preventing Social Isolation
    Monday, April 22 |  10:00 am – 12:00 pm
    Cost: $25
    By 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over the age of 60 is expected to nearly double. With this change come unique challenges to supporting mental health needs and sustaining our communities in an increasingly disconnected society. At this event, attendees will learn more about the impact that social isolation has on senior mental health as well as strategies to better support our older family, friends and neighbors.
  • Additional opportunities will be announced in the coming weeks

Details on these events, including registration, is available at https://bit.ly/2UvvH58

Mental Health: Mind Matters event partners include:

  • ¡Al Éxito!
  • Blank Children’s Hospital
  • Capital Crossroads
  • Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines
  • Community Youth Concepts
  • Delta Dental of Iowa
  • Greater Des Moines Partnership
  • Healthiest State Initiative
  • HealthPartners UnityPoint Health
  • Iowa ACEs 360
  • Iowa Campaign for Grade Level Reading
  • Mercy Des Moines
  • Mid-Iowa Health Foundation
  • NAMI Greater Des Moines
  • One Economy
  • One Iowa
  • Orchard Place
  • Please Pass the Love
  • Prevent Child Abuse Iowa
  • Science Center of Iowa
  • United Way of Central Iowa
  • UnityPoint Health – Des Moines
  • Urban Dreams

Mental Health: Mind Matters – Exhibit Information

Mental Health: Mind Matters, presented by HealthPartners UnityPoint Health, will use hands-on interactives and immersive multimedia experiences to help visitors explore mental illness and its prevalence in society. The exhibit will build awareness and understanding by giving visitors the opportunity to see how mental illness has been treated in the past and to better understand what it’s like to live with mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Resources also will be available for visitors who want to learn more about their own mental health or support those with mental illness who are close to them.

Mental Health: Mind Matters will be open daily at the Science Center of Iowa from February 5, 2019, through April 28, 2019.

The exhibit will be included with regular SCI admission ($13 for adults, $9 for seniors and $9 for children 2-12). Discounted admission is available for groups of 10 or more, and schools may visit SCI for just $2 per student through February 2019 (or $5.50 per student after March 1). SCI also will have packaged experiences available for groups or organizations seeking to have deeper dialogue on the topic of mental health.

Mental Health: Mind Matters was produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota with Heureka, The Finnish Science Centre and their partners, Ciencia Viva and Cite des Sciences & L’industrie.

It is presented locally by HealthPartners UnityPoint Health with additional support from community partner sponsor Polk County Board of Supervisors and exhibition sponsors Bank of America, Broadlawns Medical Center, Capital Crossroads, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, Delta Dental of Iowa, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Mercy Medical Center, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, United Way of Central Iowa and UnityPoint Health – Des Moines.

Details on the exhibit and supplementary programming can be found at www.sciowa.org/mindmatters.

About the Science Center of Iowa

The Science Center of Iowa engages and inspires Iowans along their journey of lifelong science learning. The 110,000-sq. ft. facility located in Downtown Des Moines features dynamic experience platforms, large format theaters and daily interactive science demonstrations, including the NAEYC-accredited SCI Preschool. The Science Center of Iowa also provides educational outreach programs across the state of Iowa. For more information, visit www.sciowa.org