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New exhibition strives to destigmatize mental health at The Discovery museum in Reno

A futuristic contraption with a glass dome and crank. There’s a sign on the wall behind it that reads, “The Worry Shredder.”
Lucia Starbuck
KUNR Public Radio
The “Worry Shredder” allows exhibit-goers to write something they’re worried about on a piece of paper and shred the worry as part of an exhibition called Mental Health: Mind Matters at The Discovery in Reno, Nev., on Feb. 23, 2024.

The Discovery museum in downtown Reno has a new exhibition on mental health.

The goal of the interactive exhibition is to start conversations about what it’s like to experience mental health challenges. It’s designed for community members of all ages.

The exhibition called Mental Health: Mind Matters is trilingual. The text is available in English, Spanish, and French, and addresses conditions such as depression, schizophrenia and PTSD. It also talks about the troubling history of mental health treatment.

There is an exhibit that helps kids face their fear of the dark, a life-size diorama of a family household that’s dealing with depression, and a futuristic contraption that shreds your worries, said Patrick Turner, the chief advancement officer.

“If you’re in here with family and friends, there are a lot of interactives that allow you to work with a partner or with other people, and through those experiences, you can have conversations about mental health,” Turner said.

Turner said more work can be done to further destigmatize mental health.

“As a whole in this country, we haven’t totally decided that mental health is something that needs to be treated just like any other ailment,” Turner said. “When I break my bone, I know exactly what to do. I go to the hospital and I get help to have that bone set. For somebody that’s dealing with depression, it’s not the same protocol.”

At the end of the exhibition, there are local and national resources for mental health needs. It will remain open until September 8.

As a note of disclosure, The Discovery is a business sponsor of KUNR.

Lucia Starbuck is an award-winning political journalist and the host of KUNR’s monthly show Purple Politics Nevada. She is passionate about reporting during election season, attending community events, and talking to people about the issues that matter most to them.