Miller Dwan Foundation Launches "Give Voice" Campaign

By KBJR News 1

February 22, 2011 Updated Feb 23, 2011 at 2:36 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - It aims to raise awareness and put a stop to the stigma of mental illness in our youth. Tuesday, the Miller Dwan Foundation along with city officials kicked off a campaign called "Give Voice." Officials hope to raise funds for a new mental health and wellness center in our community.

The Mayor's banquet room at City Hall turned into a makeshift movie studio Tuesday morning. Cameras rolled letting people give their voice to those who don't have one.

"Mental Health problems affect one in five children, and yet of those who need help, only one in ten get the help they need," said Pat Burns, the president of the Miller Dwan Foundation.

A new public service announcement produced by H.T. Klatzky & Associates and Parthe Productions, free of charge, hits the airwaves and newspaper this week. The hope is to educate.

"Calling it the name mental illness brings up different images in people's minds," said Dr. Steven Sutherland with Essentia Health - St. Mary's. "We're talking about depression, anxiety disorders or perhaps as uncommon but still prevalent, schizophrenia."

At the center of the campaign is a $5M mental health wellness center.
Amberwing will connect medical professionals, social workers and teachers with youth, teens and young adults suffering in silence.

"It will connect parents, families and the whole community by providing information, support, education and advocacy through a resource center providing a service our parents have told us they desperately want." said Burns.

Officials say the new center would serve five times the number of patients currently being helped. Organizers still need $1M for the building. They say it's a small price to pay for our youth's well being.

The new "Give Voice" PSA can be seen on the Northland's NewsCenter.

Give Voice Now website

Written for the web by Kevin Jacobsen