One of the ways we are able to educate the community about the history of mental health care in Oregon is through outreach to other cultural institutions. For the past several years, we have participated in the Willamette Heritage Center’s annual invitational exhibit. Though these exhibits, we have been able to interact with visitors who may not be aware of the Museum as well as with other cultural institutions in the mid-Willamette Valley, providing further opportunities for collaboration.

The theme for this year’s invitational exhibit is “Nature and Community” and looks at the relationship between humans and the natural world around them. For our portion of the exhibit, we wanted to focus on the therapeutic benefits of being in nature. The exhibit is broken up into two sections, one that focuses on the design of the grounds at OSH and how they were used for therapy, the other that looks at the various outdoor programs produced by the Hospital. By doing this, we hope to show visitors the importance of the use of the natural environment and outdoor recreation in the treatment of patients at the Oregon State Hospital.

The exhibit opens today and will run until May 15, 2017. For more information about the exhibit and the Heritage Center, visit their website: