Exhibit seeks to make it OK to talk about mental health

Exhibit seeks to make it OK to talk about mental health

Mental Health: Mind Matters opens February 5

  • Wednesday January 9, 2019

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 18 percent of American adults live with mental illness. On February 5, the Science Center of Iowa (SCI) will open a traveling exhibit designed to bring attention to this critically important topic.

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.

"As the Science Center of Iowa, we are committed to being a convener for the community, bringing people together around complex science issues to advance their knowledge on critical topics like mental health," said Curt Simmons, SCI president and CEO. "This unique exhibit will help us understand the realities of mental illness and provide a safe, reflective place to have honest conversations – with our family members, our colleagues, our classmates and our community."

Cheryl Harding, president of HealthPartners UnityPoint Health, added, "We are honored to have the opportunity to work with community partners to support this meaningful anti-stigma education. We know that mental illness touches the lives of so many, and awareness is a key step to treatment. Mental Health: Mind Matters will be the start of a larger community effort to reduce the stigma of mental illness through the Make It OK’ campaign, which encourages open conversations and education. The campaign was originated in 2013 by HealthPartners and community partners in Minnesota, where the exhibit was produced and previously presented."

Addressing mental health in Iowa

To support the exhibit and provide additional opportunities for dialogue around mental health in Iowa, SCI will partner with Capital Crossroads to host a series of events that create awareness about and inspire action around mental illness in the community.

"Good mental health is an important aspect of life," said Capital Crossroads Wellness Committee tri-chair and SCI board member Suzanne Mineck, who also serves as president of Mid-Iowa Health Foundation. "We hope this exhibit will be a catalyst for community partners to host programs, lectures and workshops extending the exhibit themes and creating rich opportunities for continued dialogue."

Several events are already being planned, and details will be forthcoming.

Visitor Information

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. For more information, contact ronnie.wells@sciowa.org.

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 Capital Crossroads, 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