‘I was, I am, I will be’ was a mental health exhibition and series of workshops, talks and projects for adults, children and young people that took place in May 2019 to tie in with Mental Health Awarness Week.
Our collection reflects the everyday experience of Cornish people particularly throughout the 18th – 20th centuries. We asked our visitors to re-look at our collection through the lens of mental health. A trail ‘Our Collection Re-Viewed’ placed nine objects and displays in the spotlight to reveal hidden stories. As part of the project we exhibited archival loans from Kresen Kernow from St Lawrences Hospital in Bodmin, originally known as Cornwall County Asylum.
An exhibition of current work was created by people wishing to improve their mental well-being. Visitors were also able to listen to audio stories that reflected on people’s life experiences and memories, try out mindfulness activities and take a quiet moment in our “well-being cocoon”.
I will be.
In looking forward, we welcoming the EPIC companion robots from Plymouth University and welcomed a range of professsionals who showcased and spoke about how apps and the virtual world can assist and help people maintain good mental health in the future.
Annette MacTavish, Director of Museum of Cornish Life, said:
“Here at the museum we reflect all aspects of Cornish life. Mental health is a key part of everybody’s experience. We are delighted to be working with our partners to launch our first exhibition exploring this subject. We want to get people talking and help reduce the stigma and taboo surrounding mental health.”
The project was initiated by Portheden, a dedicated mental health social enterprise that builds capacity for all on issues concerning mental health.
Other partners for this project were:
- Joining Dots – Set up by Clare Bradburn, speech therapist to provide creative communication strategies to enable people to connect with one another, whatever their communication abilities.
- Quiet Connections – A specialist Partner on the Positive People programme in Cornwall. Creating a community of understanding and a safe place to make friends, practice social abilities and grow confidence.
- Kresen Kernow – Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Cornwall Council, Kresen Kernow opened in 2019 to provide a bespoke building, excellent digital facilities, dynamic volunteering opportunities and a diverse range of events, exhibitions and activities, which will improve access and attract wider audiences to celebrate and share in Cornwall’s rich and distinct history.