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Increase Understanding, Eliminate Stigma: A Visit to the Mental Health: Mind Matters Exhibit

Mental health: it’s something that affects everyone every day, but it can still be difficult to talk about. Why is it that we take steps to ensure our body is healthy and functioning, but we don’t do the same for our minds?

We recently visited the traveling exhibit Mental Health: Mind Matters at the Science Center of Iowa to gain a new perspective on living with mental illness. The exhibit allows participants to experience typical symptoms of various disorders in an effort to raise awareness of the impact they have on individuals’ daily lives. Some of our favorite displays included:

  • Moving for Your Mind This portion of the exhibit correlated movement (from dance to exercise) with an improved mental state. It also provided a fun space for exhibit-goers to move their body to a selection of music. A great reminder to let go of negative thoughts, if only for a moment.

  • Creativity and Feelings This area explained how creative activities can reduce stress and strengthen wellbeing. Painting, dancing, playing, writing, the list is endless, and every option is a great, creative way to improve your mental health. These creative outlets help people explore the challenges they face and give them a way to deal with emotions they have difficulty identifying or speaking about.

  • Worry Shredder This activity encouraged everyone to write down negative thoughts or challenges they currently face, then shred them to symbolize the mental clarity of letting go.

We encourage everyone in the Des Moines area to take advantage of this eye-opening exhibit and do your part in extinguishing the stigma around mental health. For more information visit: #MakeItOk

  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. (The National Institute of Mental Health

  • 43.8 million adults experience mental illness in a given year.

  • 1 in 5 adults in America experience a mental illness

  • Nearly 1 in 25 adults in America live with a serious mental illness (National Alliance on Mental Illness -

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