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Wood County welcomes photo exhibit, mental health panel PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Monday, 05 May 2014 08:28
A series of events will shine the light on asylums and mental health trends in Ohio at the Wood County Historical Center & Museum, 13660 County Home Road in Bowling Green. Events are free and open to the public.
Reservations are appreciated, but not necessary, and can be made by calling 419-352-0967.
The museum will host a nationally-recognized photography exhibit by Christopher Payne called Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals. The exhibit and companion book will be in the new gallery space at the Wood County Historical Museum May 31 to Nov. 16. An opening reception is planned May 30 from 6 to 8 p.m., with Payne’s remarks and book signing. This event is free and open to the public. 
The motivation for Payne’s exhibit: “We tend to think of mental hospitals as ‘snake pits’—places of nightmarish squalor and abuse. Few Americans, however, realize these institutions were once monuments of civic pride, built with noble intentions by leading architects and physicians, who envisioned the asylums as places of refuge, therapy, and healing. From 2002 to 2008, I visited seventy institutions in 30 states, photographing palatial exteriors designed by famous architects and crumbling interiors that appeared as if the occupants had just left. I also documented how the hospitals functioned as self-contained cities, where almost everything of necessity was produced on site: food, water, power, and even clothing and shoes.”
Events continue on May 31 at 1 p.m., with a panel of mental health professionals highlighting the history of mental illness and current trends in mental health. The panel will consist of Mary deYoung, professor of sociology at Grand Valley State University, who will lecture about her book, “Madness: An American History of Mental Illness and Its Treatment”; Tom Clemons, executive director of the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board; and Jessica Schmitt, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Wood County.
In addition, the Wood County Historical Society will have a rededication of the lunatic asylum on the site of the Wood County Historical Center by opening a new exhibit called Chasing the White Rabbit: An Historical Look at American Mental Illness by Curator Holly A. Hartlerode.
Exhibits and events are made possible by funding from the Ohio Humanities Council, the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services Board, and the Bowling Green Convention & Visitors Bureau. Additional support comes from NAMI of Wood County, Bowling Green State University, and the Wood County Historical Society. The intention is to bring light to the very important and relevant topic of mental health in our community.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 08:28

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