Human Development Center of Northeastern Minnesota Teams with Duluth Filmmakers to Promote and Produce Video Series Designed to Help Break the Stigma of Mental Health

Share Article premiered first episode in 12-part series with help of Kickstarter™ funding, seeks additional support

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'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 Human Development Center (HDC) and Lola Visuals have successfully partnered to raise funds through social media and Kickstarter™ to help produce the initial episodes of a 12-part video series, chronicling individuals living with mental health issues. The web series is designed to help destigmatize the false perceptions society holds about mental health. was the brainchild of David Cowardin and Joe Olivieri of Lola Visuals. After hearing the story of Dylan Archer, who is 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 funding 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 over $10,000 with Kickstarter to fund early episodes of the series largely through the social media efforts of the groups. They continue to seek additional financial support to fund the entire project and to 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 that 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 and help further support the campaign, donors are asked to visit:

About The Human Development Center (HDC)
HDC is a private, non-profit, mental health organization established in 1938 that serves residents in four counties in northeastern Minnesota and one county in northwestern Wisconsin. Follow them on Facebook.

About Lola Visuals
Lola Visuals is a commercial, wedding and documentary production company located in Duluth, MN.

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Paul Damberg
The Human Development Center
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