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New Mural Commissioned for Grand Itasca Emergency Department Connects Community with Health Care
- November 02, 2023
- By Staff Writer
Changemaker: Anyone passionate about supporting recovery in their community.
The concept to create a mural in the Emergency Department came from the 2022 Changemakers Retreat, led by the University of Minnesota Extension, in partnership with Itasca County Public Health. The retreat gathered Changemakers to brainstorm innovative resources and perspectives to help better impact their communities. In attendance, amongst many others, were Kelly Campbell, Grand Itasca Community Health Coordinator; Marian Barcus, Local NAMI Board President; and Lynn Cochran, Itasca County Public Health Social Worker and NAMI Board Vice-President. Together, the idea for a mural in the Emergency Department at Grand Itasca was born, and Barcus knew just who to ask to create the piece for the space.
Eleanor Tillmans, a local artist who works primarily with fiber and clay, was ecstatic to be commissioned to be a part of this project as it holds a personal connection for her. Tillmans, who has endured mental health struggles of her own in the past, shared that creating the mural was an emotional experience for her. "When I found myself on the inside of a clinical setting, I needed help and was desperate to find anything to keep the room from spinning, and at the time, anxiety was not something that was discussed openly." When coming up with the concept for this piece, Tillmans paused to think of what she would have wanted to see and hear when she was in crisis. She hopes the mural brings a sense of calmness and lets the patient know that "you're going to be okay, and someday soon, you'll be looking out onto a beautiful view of a lake like this."