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Campaign targets stigma of mental illness

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community Superior, 54880
Superior Wisconsin 1226 Ogden Ave. Ste. 1 54880

The Human Development Center and Lola Visuals have successfully partnered to raise money through social media and Kickstarter™ to help produce the initial episodes of a 12-part video series, chronicling individuals living with mental health issues.

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The web series is designed to help remove the stigma of false perceptions society holds about mental health.

Callmemental.com was the brainchild of David Cowardin and Joe Olivieri of Lola Visuals. After hearing the story of Dylan Archer, featured in the first episode, Cowardin and Olivieri were determined to produce a video series that breaks societal barriers and molds a new perception of those living with mental illness, one that goes beyond the title of depression.

Following the video concept, the pair sought the assistance of HDC, who optimistically partnered with the filmmaking duo to help with seed money and mental health expertise to produce the series.

After successfully producing the first episode the HDC and Lola Visuals opened a Kickstarter campaign to obtain further funding for the project. The campaign successfully raised more than $10,000 to fund early episodes of the series largely through the social media efforts of the groups.

They are still seeking additional financial support to fund the entire project and produce a feature length documentary that ties together the episodes in a thematic format.

HDC’s support goes beyond their financial investment.

Dr. Carolyn Phelps, Ph.D., LP of HDC will provide clinical expertise throughout the project. Dr. Phelps serves as the director of outpatient therapy at HDC and her clinical input is shared in an uncomplicated and respectful format following each episode. In addition, the HDC Foundation is the fiscal agent behind the project.

HDC hopes their partnership in the series helps further their mission of providing integrated, culturally respectful mental health and addiction services that foster hope, self-determination and recovery to their constituents.

“By shining a light on real-life case studies, we hope to destigmatize mental illness and share the message that one in four adults will experience a mental illness in any given year,” said Foundation Director Paul Damberg.

The first episode details the life of Dylan Archer and his battle with mental illness through his youth. To view the series or help further support the campaign, visit www.callmemental.com

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