The Life of the Mind

The Life of the Mind tells the story of mental health treatment from the late 18th century through to today.

The Life of the Mind explored the evolution of mental health care based on an increase in knowledge of how the brain and mind works and on society’s changing perspectives of mental illnesses.

Featured artifacts from the GRPM’s extensive Collections provided fascinating evidence about the progression of medical intervention for mental illness from radical treatments of the 19th and 20th centuries, to the more research-based therapies of present-day practice.

Many artifacts featured in The Life of the Mind were generously donated to the GRPM by Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Hospital where they had been originally used. Established in 1910, Pine Rest is one of only a handful of private, independent, free-standing behavioral healthcare institutions that remains in the United States, and is one of the largest with 198 inpatient beds.

The Life of the Mind exhibit was developed by GRPM staff, based on a student project from Calvin College, where Historical Research and Writing students presented the concepts of a mental health exhibit to tell of the technological and societal changes in advancement of mental health care. The GRPM has worked with the History Department at Calvin College since 2011 in various capacities, including provided Collections access for several classes.

This exhibit will ran September 2017 through January 2018.  The Life of the Mind was brought to you by the citizens of Kent County and the voter approved millage.