Mental Health: Mind Matters is the Science Museum of Minnesota’s newest traveling exhibition offering. Initially created by Heureka, the Finnish Science Centre, Mental Health: Mind Matters has been updated and modified for the North American audience.
Good mental health is an important aspect of everyone’s life. Like physical illness, mental illness is not a “choice” or a personal flaw but a medical condition that requires care. In 2014, the National Institute of Mental Health reported there were an estimated 43.6 million adults aged 18 or older in the United State with a mental illness in the previous year—18.1% of all U.S. adults. Yet misunderstanding of mental illness often leads to lack of treatment and needless suffering. That makes mental health a personal issue, a social issue and an economic issue.
Much as the traveling exhibition RACE: Are We So Different? created a safe place for conversations around race and racism, Mental Health: Mind Matters will create a safe space for important conversations about mental illness. Misconceptions and stigma lead to prejudice and discrimination. This exhibition and related programming can help make it OK to talk about mental health. Mental illness touches all our lives in some way, making Mental Health: Mind Matters an important resource.