masks

A child and an adult wear masks at the mental health exhibit at the Rochester Art Center in Minnesota.

ROCHESTER, Minn. — A new, interactive exhibit focused on raising awareness about mental health will open May 25 at Rochester Art Center. “Mental Health: Mind Matters,” hosted by Mayo Clinic, and presented by Olmsted Medical Center and Rochester Area Foundation, will create a safe space for important conversations about mental illness.

Nearly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. lives with a mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The rate may be even higher in Olmsted County, Minnesota. Nearly one-third of Olmsted County residents experienced a mental health condition in 2016, according to the county’s Community Health Needs Assessment.

“Mental health plays a key role in our overall health. Mental illness is common, treatable and a health issue that we as a community should be discussing,” says Bruce Sutor, M.D., a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist. “Mayo Clinic is pleased to host this exhibit, which not only gives visitors a chance to learn more about mental health, but also helps connect them to valuable mental health resources in the community.”

“Mind Matters: Mental Health” will use immersive experiences and multimedia activities to help build understanding and awareness about mental illness.

Visitors will be able to see how mental illness has been treated in the past and learn what it is like to live with a mental illness, such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

A resource center will provide information on local mental health resources.

In an accompanying art exhibition, “Making It OK: Art, Bravery and Mental Health,” four Minnesota artists will reveal, with honesty and hope, what it means to live with mental illness or be affected by close family members struggling with mental health issues. This exhibition includes paintings and drawings, sculpture, participatory art, comic books and video.

“Olmsted Medical Center is proud to sponsor the ‘Mind Matters’ exhibit because it brings awareness and dialogue around the important topic of mental health in our community, and the many issues that individuals as well as our families and friends face on a daily basis,” says Stacey Vanden Heuvel, vice president of marketing and philanthropy, Olmsted Medical Center.

“As we celebrate 75 years of building better communities for all, Rochester Area Foundation, in our role as a community convener, is thrilled to partner with other organizations to bring ‘Mental Health: Mind Matters’ to our community,” says Jennifer Woodford, president, Rochester Area Foundation. “We believe this important hands-on, multidimensional exhibit will enable conversations and positive engagement around mental health that will break down stigma and increase access to resources.”

“Mental Health: Mind Matters” will open at Rochester Art Center, beginning May 25. It will be open to the public Tuesdays through Saturday through Sept. 10. There will be a $5 admission for adults. Children 15 and younger are free. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time on the Rochester Art Center’s website.