‘Big Brains’ invading the Nickel Plate District in Fishers, promoting mental health awareness

FISHERS, Ind. - City leaders in Fishers hope the "Big Brains" art display that just came the Nickel Plate District will create a more open dialogue about the mental health issues the city is facing.

In 2016, Fishers had 13 suicides and in the last three weeks there have been two, according to Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness.

"Although this is fun and interesting... it’s about the conversation that the public needs to start having around the issues of mental health and having the courage to talk about it so the people living in darkness can come forward and get the help that they ultimately need," Fadness said.

The "Big Brains" exhibit consist of 12 larger-than-life brains that each depict a different function or area of the brain. Those range from mental health conditions and brain growth to how the brain is mapped.

“The more people talk about the things, the more help we can get in the community," Fishers resident Terry Berger said.

This exhibit is just one of the many ways Fishers is working to improve the city's mental health. Earlier this week, the city was one of nine communities around Indianapolis to join the, "Campaign to Change Direction."

Students at Hamilton Southeastern High School have even made a club to change the stigmas associated with mental illness.

Founder, Ranvir Sandhu, said he hopes the brains scattered across the Nickel Plate District will contribute to one of his initiatives, which is to get parents more involved in the conversation.

"My parents grew up in a time when mental health wasn’t really talked about, but it’s like talking about anything" Sandhu said. "It’s like talking about sexually transmitted diseases or anything uncomfortable of that sorts you have to talk about it no matter what the circumstances are. Feelings are important and emotions are something everyone feels. Being depressed is just like breaking your arm. You can go and talk about it.”

The brains will be on display in the Nickel Plate District through August and then will be moved to HSE Schools for students and staff to appreciate.