Look Beyond Stable: An Installation on Living With Schizophrenia


This interactive installation begs the question, “What is the truth of life with schizophrenia?”


“Schizophrenia does not discriminate,” said Carlos de Leon, marketing lead, Mental Health at Boehringer Ingelheim, who walked us through the immersive experience.

In an interactive installation in NYC, Boehringer Ingelheim seeks to raise awareness on the reality of living with schizophrenia for both mental health clinicians, caregiver, and the general public.

As you enter the space, you are confronted with text on the floors, the walls, the stairs: misconceptions those living with schizophrenia face every day. Unlovable. Hopeless. Criminal. The installation then takes you through various rooms that recreate the living space of a patient with schizophrenia, from the bedroom to the kitchen, to help dispel such misconceptions by building empathy. The audio-visual components elicit the truth of hallucinations, putting you as a viewer in the shoes of a patient. Various videos and voice-overs offer powerful patient testimonials. 

Approximately 80% of those with schizophrenia are impacted by cognitive symptoms, and 6 in 10 are likely to isolate due to negative symptoms. This fact is demonstrated via post-it notes throughout the installation. Don’t forget to put on your shoes. Don’t forget to shower. Don’t forget to close the fridge door. Don’t forget…

For clinicians, it serves as a poignant reminder: Are you asking your patients if they are getting out of bed? Are they showering? Do they remember to take out the trash? What does their room look like?

“I think if we asked individuals living with schizophrenia what was most bothersome, I think many would probably say, ‘I just can’t think the way I used to, I can’t learn the way I used to learn, and I just can’t live the way I used to.’ That really just circles back to quality of life,” said Erin Crown, PA-C, CAQ-Psychiatry.

The space is available to view through Tuesday, May 7th, just a short walk from the Javits Center and the 2024 American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting at 410 Tenth Ave. Hours are 11-6PM on Saturday May 4th through Monday May 6th, and 11-5PM on Tuesday, May 7th. Boehringer Ingelheim hopes to continue these installations and make it an annual event alongside Mental Health Awareness Month, as well as the APA Annual Meeting.

“People with schizophrenia have very few voices advocating for them,” shared de Leon. “We want to be one of those voices, to amplify the truth of their struggles.”

You can learn more about the installation here.

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