Mental Health: Mind Matters exhibit seeks to make it okay to talk about mental health

March 27, 2018
Media Contacts

Kim Ramsden, PR Director, (651) 221-9423
Sarah Imholte, PR Specialist, (651) 221-9412

Members of the media will get first look at the new exhibit on Thursday, May 3 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Saint Paul, Minn. — On Friday, May 4, the Science Museum of Minnesota will debut a new exhibit designed to bring awareness to a topic that touches our lives each day. Mental Health: Mind Matters, presented by PrairieCare, will use unique hands-on interactives and immersive multimedia activities to give visitors of all ages a memorable, impactful experience exploring mental health and its prevalence and impact in society. It will also provide a safe space to have important conversations about a subject that some see as taboo.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 18% of American adults live with mental illness. The key to building better lives for those who live with mental illness is threefold: we must understand that mental illnesses affect nearly one in five people, they can affect anyone, and they are treatable.

Members of the media are invited to preview Mental Health: Mind Matters on Thursday, May 3 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mental Health: Mind Matters will build understanding and awareness by giving visitors the opportunity to see how mental illness has been treated in the past, as well as the chance to better understand what it’s like to live with mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

It will also connect them with valuable resources to help them better their own mental health and support those with mental illness who are close to them.

“Access to mental health resources is critical,” says Alison Rempel Brown, president and CEO of the Science Museum of Minnesota. “At the Science Museum of Minnesota, we’re inspired by the Mental Health: Mind Matters exhibit, both because it brings awareness to the realities of mental illness and our history in treating it, and because it provides a safe, reflective place to have honest conversations about it – with our family members, our classmates, and our community.”

“For over a decade, PrairieCare has sought to transform psychiatric healthcare and to combat stigma in Minnesota and beyond. We are proud to partner with the Science Museum of Minnesota on this groundbreaking Mental Health awareness campaign,” stated Dr. Ryan Williams, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and CEO of PrairieCare.

Dr. Thomas Joseph, PrairieCare’s Chief Medical Officer and also a child and adolescent psychiatrist, added, “We are excited to partner with the Science Museum of Minnesota for the Mental Health: Mind Matters exhibit, offering a unique opportunity to raise awareness and provide education. Providing a venue for this discussion further bolsters efforts to destigmatize mental illness and encourage those in need to seek treatment and find relief.”

In Mental Health: Mind Matters, visitors will:

  • Peek into toy theater sets and listen to audio recordings that depict what life was like for people with mental illness in different places around the world and at different points in history.
  • Explore the symptoms, causes, and treatments of common mental illnesses like anxiety disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, and more.
  • Test their mental health knowledge and discover that mental illness are similar to other illnesses in many ways.
  • Don noise distorting headphones to experience the difficulties some people with symptoms of psychosis experience if they’re unable to filter out some of the sounds that surround them.
  • Enter the living room of a man with depression and hear his inner dialog, along with the perspectives of his close family members.
  • Play an emotion recognition game that invites them to act out an emotion using only facial expressions. They’ll discover that it’s a challenging task, and it’s even more challenging for other visitors to interpret.
  • Discover how artistic activities like painting, dancing, and writing can help us identify and express our emotions and strengthen our mental health.
  • Join other visitors in Are You Afraid?, an immersive, full body game that puts them in a dark forest to confront scary creatures, using only their eyes as indicators. When approached, the eyes disappear and familiar forest animals are revealed. Participants try to survive the night in the forest, converting their fears into less threatening forces and demonstrating that, while facing our fears is difficult, the skills it requires can be practiced and honed.
  • Write down their worries and fears, then run them through the Worry Shredder. They’ll see that worries are normal and can be managed in many different ways.

Mental Health: Mind Matters was produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota with Heureka, The Finnish Science Centre and their partners, Ciência Viva and Cité des Sciences & L’industrie. It is presented by PrairieCare, with support from HealthPartners. The Minnesota chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness served as a key content advisor.

After its run at the Science Museum of Minnesota, Mental Health: Mind Matters will embark on a tour of museums and science centers across North America.

Visitor Information
Mental Health: Mind Matters will be located in the U.S. Bank Great Hall on level 4. After its May 4 opening, it will be open during regular Science Museum hours through Sunday, January 6, 2019. Admission will be included in regular exhibit gallery admission ($18.95 for adults and $12.95 for kids ages 4 to 12 and seniors).

About PrairieCare
PrairieCare is a Joint Commission Accredited psychiatric health system located in Minnesota. PrairieCare and its sister professional organization PrairieCare Medical Group together offer a full continuum of mental health care including: Inpatient Hospital, Partial Hospital Program (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) in addition to outpatient clinic services. PrairieCare provides each individual patient they psychiatric care they truly need and is devoted to offering comprehensive and integrated psychiatric services for all ages, at eight locations across the Twin Cities Metro Area and Southern Minnesota

About the Science Museum of Minnesota
The Science Museum of Minnesota is one of the state’s most popular museums, with a reach that extends well beyond its riverfront location in downtown Saint Paul. It serves hundreds of thousands of people each year with its engaging exhibits, breathtaking giant screen films, and unique special events. Science Museum education programs touch students in all of Minnesota’s 87 counties each year, and its research programs span the globe. For more information, visit


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