DES MOINES, Iowa — The Science Center of Iowa hopes its newest traveling exhibit creates a safe space to talk about the sometimes-heavy topics surrounding mental health.
It is called ‘Mental Health: Mind Matters.’ The exhibit opens February 5th.
Through videos and interactive displays, this exhibit gives visitors and opportunity to better understand what it’s like to live with mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and different kinds of psychosis.
“It’s different than a lot of our other exhibits and it is a little bit heavier of a topic but there are a lot of other experiences in here that you can pick and choose what you want for you and your family. There are some role-playing activities where you get mime different emotions, those will be fun for the kids who can experiment with different emotions. But then there are also some experiences where parents will want to be sure to have that conversation with their kids before they come in,” The Science Center of Iowa’s Director of Marketing Emilee Richardson said.
The Science Center hopes this exhibit starts conversations and breaks the stigma surrounding mental health.
“One in five Americans have a mental illness and so we want to open up that conversation and say it’s common, it’s treatable and it’s something that can happen to anyone. It’s just like a physical illness in a lot of those ways,” Richardson said.
There is also a resource center within the exhibit for visitors to learn more about their own mental health or support those with mental illnesses around them. There will also be mental health professionals who are volunteering their time on the weekends. Visitors are able to ask them questions or concerns about mental illness.
The “Mental Health: Mind Matters” exhibit opens February 5th and runs through April 28th. It is included in the regular admission price which is $13 for adults, $9 for seniors and children 2-12, and children under 2-years-old get in free.