MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota is opening up a new conversation about mental illness.

About 20 percent of people are affected by mental illness.

Mental Health: Mind Matters” offers a new approach to addressing the sometimes-taboo subject.

Aimed at kids, teens and adults, it tackles depression, PTSD and other mental health challenges.

Nestled inside the public museum is a place for some private reflection. It is an exhibit that is meant to make you think.

“What’s powerful about this exhibit is that you’re really walking in the shoes of somebody living with mental illness,” said Kim Ramsden, director of communications for the Science Museum of Minnesota.

mental health exhibit at science museum Mental Illness Examined In Science Museum Exhibit

(credit: CBS)

From a living room experience with a depressed dad, to face-to-face testimonials from real Minnesotans. Mental health experts helped make the experiences authentic.

“Even if people know that they need help or could use help, there’s shame and guilt in associated with doing that, and you don’t see that in other medical specialties,” said Dr. Thomas Joseph, chief medical officer at Prairie Care.

Joseph is hoping empathy will come from experiences like these.

We hear people talk a lot these days about sensory issues; people who are extra sensitive to touch, to sound. This exhibit lets you know what it’s like for noise to be amplified, every minute of every day,

The exhibit allows you to write down your feelings. You jot down a word of something you are worried about, then you take it to the “Worry Shredder.”

At the end of this exhibit is a corner that is full of pamphlets about PTSD, bipolar disorder and just about any mental issue you can think of. The hope is that someone may get some help.

The exhibit opens Friday and runs through Jan. 6.

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