Mental Health: Mind Matters

Mental Health: Mind Matters, a new traveling exhibit at the Science Center of Iowa presented by HealthPartners UnityPoint Health, will use hands-on interactives and immersive multimedia experiences to help visitors explore mental illness and its prevalence in society. The exhibit will build awareness and understanding by giving visitors the opportunity to see how mental illness has been treated in the past and to better understand what it’s like to live with mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Capital Crossroads is proud to partner with SCI and multiple community stakeholders to host a series of events designed to create awareness about and inspire action around mental illness in the community:

Mental Mystery: Unravel the Stigma (Youth Summit)
Monday, February 25  |  4:30 – 8:15 pm
Cost: Free to Youth

At this summit, Central Iowa high school students will gather to experience the Science Center of Iowa’s Mental Health: Mind Matters exhibition, learn more about the science and cultural stigma around mental illness and discover how to best support mental health for themselves and their peers through breakout sessions with a variety of mental health professionals, area organizations and community leaders.


Make It OK: Mental Health in the Workplace
Monday, March 4  | Morning and Afternoon Sessions
Cost: $25

Mental health impacts all aspects of our lives, including our workplace. At this workshop, attendees will explore the Mental Health: Mind Matters exhibit and hear from Minnesota Public Radio host John Moe. His podcast, “The Hilarious World of Depression,” which USA Today named one of the best new podcasts in 2016, shares how mental health stigma is impacting today’s workplace and will kick off efforts to reduce stigma in the state.


Understanding Cultural and Racial Trauma
Wednesday, March 6  |  8:00 – 11:30 am
Cost: $25

Explore the basis of historical and cultural trauma. Learn how it impacts the willingness of ethnic communities and people of color to seek help for a variety of mental health challenges. Keisha Ross, PhD, will engage participants in a session outlining coping mechanisms and cultural considerations for serving communities impacted by trauma. This session will build connections and grow alliances for mental health access and advocacy, with a focus on bridging faith and mental health circles. Dr. Ross is a nationally recognized clinical psychologist with a demonstrated history of working in the settings of nonprofit organizations, independent practice, hospital and government industry.


Mind Matters: Mental Health Fair
Sunday, March 10  |  12:00 – 5:00 pm
Cost: FREE

Let’s learn and work together to reduce mental health stigma. On this free admission day, you, along with your family and friends, can experience the Mental Health: Mind Matters exhibition, explore the many mental health resources available in Central Iowa and discover all the Science Center of Iowa has to offer. A variety of local organizations and mental health professionals will be available at the Mind Matters: Mental Health Fair to discuss their offerings, provide free screenings and educate about mental health issues.


Early Childhood Brain Science: Nurturing Strong Mental Health
Monday, April 8  |  11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Cost: $25

This session will focus on early childhood brain development and the critical role healthy mental development plays in the overall health of Iowa’s children. Dayna Long, MD, medical director for the Department of Community Health and Engagement at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, CA, will guide participants through the current science and best practices for addressing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and reducing toxic stress to improve the health of children.


Minds DSM: Stories of Courage and Discovery
Wednesday, April 10  |  4:30 – 6:30 pm
Cost: $25

When it comes to mental health stigma, how do we as a community work to “Make it OK”? Through this storytelling event, Iowans who have experienced mental illness will share their stories and participants will learn actions they can take to dispel misconceptions, reduce stigma and access resources through their community and Iowa’s soon-to-be launched Make It OK campaign. CW Live’s Jackie Schmillen and Lou Sipolt will emcee this shared experience and open dialogue, which will instill hope and shine a light on mental illness and the recovery process.

Please be aware that the stories that will be shared address topics that may be unsuitable for children and may potentially be distressing for some people. 


Preventing Social Isolation
Monday, April 22  |  10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Cost: $25

By 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over the age of 60 is expected to be nearly double. With this change comes unique challenges to supporting mental health needs and sustaining our communities in an increasingly disconnected society. Join us to learn more about the impact that social isolation has on our senior mental health.


Thank you to the following sponsors who came together to underwrite the exhibit and all of the community conversations. This would not have been possible with out their generosity and vision: HealthPartners UnityPoint Health, Polk County Board of Supervisors, Bank of America, Broadlawns Medical Center, Capital Crossroads, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, Delta Dental of Iowa, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Mercy Medical Center, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, United Way of Central Iowa and UnityPoint Health – Des Moines.

Special thanks to Orchard Place for their wisdom, guidance, training and resources in preparation for the Mental Health: Mind Matters exhibit. And additional thanks to the many stakeholders who collaborated to plan the events listed above: ¡Al Éxito!, Blank Children’s Hospital, Capital Crossroads, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, Community Youth Concepts, Delta Dental of Iowa, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Healthiest State Initiative, HealthPartners UnityPoint Health, Iowa ACEs 360, Iowa Campaign for Grade Level Reading, Mercy Des Moines, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, NAMI Greater Des Moines, One Economy, One Iowa, Orchard Place, Please Pass the Love, Prevent Child Abuse Iowa, Science Center of Iowa, United Way of Central Iowa, UnityPoint Health – Des Moines and Urban Dreams.


Mental Health: Mind Matters will be open daily at the Science Center of Iowa from February 5, 2019, through April 28, 2019. To find out more about bringing a group to the Mental Health: Mind Matters exhibit, contact Rhiley Binns (