June 28, 2014

$16,000 in funding presented for a project that casts light on mental illness.
Call Me Mental, an online episodic video project, received a $10,000 gift from the Miller Dwan Foundation as well as a $6,000 grant from the St. Luke’s Foundation. Call Me Mental is a joint venture by Lola Visuals and the Human Development Center to destigmatize mental illness and share stories of hope and recovery.

The Miller-Dwan Foundation is pleased to join forces with HDC and St. Luke’s to help fund the Call Me Mental 12-part series. Call Me Mental shares the journeys of individuals affected by mental illness in a way that neither sugarcoats nor exploits their disease. “It’s their story, it is real and it’s what we all need to be witness to if we are going to eliminate the stigma of having a mental illness,” stated Traci Marciniak, Miller-Dwan Foundation President.

“I’m very happy to see two major health care organizations in this area come together to join HDC in supporting this project,” stated Dr. Carolyn Phelps, Ph.D., HDC’s Director of Outpatient Therapy. Dr. Phelps serves as the clinical advisor to the Call Me Mental production. “Joe Olivieri and Dave Cowardin with Lola Visuals are incredible artists who came to HDC with a vision to create a series of short documentary films that are six to 12 minutes in length that feature real people telling their stories of living with mental illness, “explained Dr. Phelps. “An important and critical aspect of the project was that it be available on the Internet in a format that was accessible to all. Their vision and HDC’s community education mission aligned perfectly. Because the real change necessary to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness will happen when we’re able to talk about these issues around the dinner table. Our hope is that Call Me Mental can be the catalyst that inspires that conversation by raising awareness and instilling hope,” Dr. Phelps further stated.

HDC is the fiscal agent for Call Me Mental. Approximately $40,000 of the needed $60,000 has been raised to date. Donations are being accepted, just click on the “donate now” button and select “Call Me Mental production fund” as your designation.

Joe Olivieri from Lola Visuals receives a check from Traci Marciniak, Miller Dwan Foundation President. To the left of Joe are Dr. Carolyn Phelps, Ph.D. from HDC and Dave Cowardin from Lola Visuals.

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