Why the Name Bluestem?

Bluestem is a prairie grass, native to the Great Plaines. Two types of grasses are known as bluestem; our logo pictures "Big Bluestem," a grass which can grow to five feet and is one of the mainstays of the tall grass prairie.

Why name the clinic after a grass? Flowers are more colorful and trees are majestic, but we feel that bluestem is a better illustration of what it means to be mentally healthy.

First, bluestem is part of a community. When you look at a prairie, you’re more likely to notice the sea of waving grass more than an individual plant. People are like that also. We exist in relationship with each other, but that doesn’t mean that we all have to be the same. The prairie ecosystem is made of a wide variety of plant species that together support many birds and animals – even, in past years, buffalo.

Second, Big Bluestem is flexible -- it bends with the wind. Rigidity is seldom a good thing in mental health.

Third, it’s resilient. It dies back each winter and returns in the spring. And like many prairie species, if you burn it off, it grows back healthier. We think that’s a good story to tell children and families who are struggling with setbacks in life.

The tall grass of the prairie may not be the showiest of plants, but it is the nourishing plant – the mainstay of the prairie community. We think bluestem shows many of the qualities of mental health: growing in a community, flexibility, resilience, and the ability to nurture others.