Annie Lindgren, Written for North Forty News
October 3, 2020, the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery opens the doors to a groundbreaking exhibit,’ Mental Health: Mind Matters.’ It will run until January 10, and admission is free. Visitors must schedule a specific time for their visit as a part of ensuring safety during the pandemic. You can schedule it through the museum’s website.
The exhibit shares the importance of mental health. Hands-on experiences throughout the Mental Health: Mind Matters exhibit bring you closer to the facts, feelings, and issues surrounding this topic that touches so many of our lives.
Visitors will peer into mini-dioramas of important moments in mental health history and play a quiz show to test their knowledge of common misperceptions about mental illnesses. They will hear what it’s like to experience psychosis and feel what it’s like to be unable to ignore your surroundings. They will watch heartfelt videos of diverse individuals talking about their personal experiences living with mental illnesses. Attendees can write down their worries and destroy them in the Worry Shredder. Additional information on the topics and resources are available to take home or share with others.
Larimer County Behavioral Health Services, the City of Fort Collins, the Bohemian Foundation, and Hach Center for Regional Engagement all contributed to making the Mental Health: Mind Matters exhibit possible.
Larimer County Behavioral Health Services awarded the Museum of Discovery $250,000 in funding as part of the 2019 Grant Program – the Grant Program’s inaugural year. The funding awarded to support the museum was to host the special traveling exhibition Mental Health: Mind Matters and deliver the programming associated with the exhibit.
“Larimer County Behavioral Health Services is pleased to be able to support this important exhibit with funding through our grant program. We see so much value in an exhibit like this because it serves as a conversation starter and connection point around the topic of mental health. This exhibit offers a safe space to explore the topic of mental illness, thereby reducing stigma and increasing awareness.” – Laurie Stolen, Director of Behavioral Health Services.
In the 2018’s November election, Larimer County voters approved an initiative allowing for a .25% sales and use tax that would go towards behavioral health initiatives in Larimer County. The Behavioral Health Services department, established in January 2019, has put the funding to good use. The grant that funded this exhibit was one of 29 grants awarded in 2019, with another 34 recipients awarded for 2020. Additionally, nine organizations and programs received funding through the Crisis Response Fund, supporting those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants addressed critical gaps in community mental and behavioral health care and were made possible through voters’ support.
The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, located at 408 Mason Ct., is open Thursdays through Saturdays. It is an interactive and immersive museum with hands-on and collection-based exhibits that tell the stories of Northern Colorado and beyond. It opened in 2012 and has exhibits on science, music, agriculture, astronomy, first peoples, wildlands, and national touring special exhibits such as this one.
Mental Health is an important topic for all ages. This exhibit makes for a great family activity that can open the door to better communication about the subject. Take advantage of this free opportunity. The more we know about mental health, the more we can understand what is going with ourselves and others. Starting early, with our youth, can go a long way in building healthier and happier communities.
For more information about this event or to reserve tickets, visit https://fcmod.org/mindmatters/