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The purpose of the OSH Museum of Mental Health is to provide the opportunity for citizens to learn, through artifacts and stories, an awareness of and connection to the people who have lived and worked at Oregon mental hospitals in order that we may challenge the stereotypes and stigmas that burden discussion of mental illness.
We opened in 2012 and, to date, have been visited by more than 17,000 people. We have hosted hundreds of secondary, post-secondary, and professional students from across the state. These schools use us to highlight mental health care occupations as well as history, literature, theater, architecture and anthropology.
Because we are the only mental health museum in the country that is operated by an independent non-profit organization, citizens look to us for an unvarnished review of the history of mental health treatments as well as being a steward of the voices of the patients and families who have been impacted by mental illness. We are deliberately inclusive. We create education programs that foster frank conversations about mental illness and challenges created by ignoring its impacts.