Mental Health

Mental health issues are among the most common vulnerabilities we face: in our communities, in our families, in ourselves. My professional work focuses on mental health in a variety of ways, and the articles in this section reflect the diversity of that work. I specialize in the confluence of mental illness, addictions, and trauma – which, for most people who struggle with these issues, are all aspects of one thing and not three different things. I emphasize current research and the many ways we can build resilience and wellbeing both for ourselves and our communities.

Mental Health Considerations for Museums

An Emerging Field of Practice and Discovery

June 23, 2021, 11:53 p.m. • Ross Laird

There is a growing trend in museum practice to evoke — and perhaps provoke — emotional experiences for visitors. The practices of direct creative engagement — touching, making, symbolic represent...

Working with Grief, Trauma, and Related Challenges

Museums Offer Much Potential for Healing Work — But Safety Must be a Primary Concern

June 24, 2021, 12:04 a.m. • Ross Laird

New and powerful museum exhibition trends include a greater focus on emotional engagement and linkages to broader social activity. Most notably, disruptive exhibitions convey sensitive and cont...

Therapeutic Objects at the 9/11 Museum and Beyond

The Meaning and Use of Personal Objects in Complex Trauma

June 24, 2021, 12:28 a.m. • Ross Laird

Tragedy strikes New York on September 11, 2001. Afterwards, survivors, first responders and victims’ relatives experience the healing impact of donating personal objects to what will become the 9...

Resilience and Well-being in Turbulent Times

A presentation for the Ontario Museums Association

June 30, 2021, 1:49 p.m. • Ross Laird

During a time of turbulence and stress, how can we stay emotionally healthy and connected to ourselves and those around us? What kinds of coping are n...

Mental Health