WAITE PARK -- A multi-media exhibit that started as a conversation between friends about mental illness is on display in Waite Park.

If You Only Knew: Revealing the Humanity of Mental Illness combines photos, artwork, and biographies from individuals living with mental illness and photographs by Barb Kellogg interpreting what their mental illness feels like.

Barb Kellogg created the exhibit and published a book of the same name.

A good friend of mine, who was struggling with depression, ended up dying by suicide. So without him dying, the project would have not happened. We would just casually talk about it on occasion, just the way you would casually talk about your dog. It would just come up, it was a part of his life.

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Kellogg hopes the display helps others start conversations about mental illness with their friends and families.

Having a mental illness can happen to anyone, just like cancer. Often the case with a mental illness diagnosis, if someone does share it with you, is that they're struggling. People tend to turn the other way; they get uncomfortable. How can I be different? You should just listen, that's the main advice.

The exhibit is on display through May at the Great River Regional Library’s Waite Park branch.


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