my video story


view a real life story* of people from our region living with mental illness.     see previous videos >>

intro anti-stigma
intro anti-stigma


introducing the campaign
a personal experience with a mental illness inspired liz hinds to help launch a local anti-stigma campaign.
story hinds
hinds story
liz hinds
liz hinds is a retired attorney who lives in morris, mn. liz was diagnosed with a mood disorder in the late 1980’s and has witnessed the adult mental health system go through a significant transition. since her diagnosis she has been heavily involved as a mental health activist.
karen story
karen story
karen struggled emotionally her entire life before first being diagnosed with dysthymic depression, and later with bi-polar and personality disorders. she describes her path to recovery, how her spiritual life is essential to wholeness, and how today she carries no shame over her illness.

bolland story
bolland story
heidi bolland
heidi was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at sixteen years old, one year after a traumatic event. heidi describes the ups and downs her life took and  how today she is pro-actively, positively managing her mental illness.

leonard story - part i
leonard story - part 1
shelly leonard (part 1)
with raw emotion and honesty, shelly tells of her journey through depression that began in childhood and continued into her young adult years. the road to recovery she travelled included seven hospitalizations before finding the right mix of medication and a strong support system.
leonard story - part ii
leonard story - part 2
shelly leonard (part 2)
in part two of this interview, shelly talks about how her personal decisions, mental health programs, a new job, and the support of friends and mental health professionals have kept her healthy and stable.
stark story - part i
stark story - part 1
debby stark (part 1)
six years ago, debby was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. debby describes the long and difficult journey she experienced before being properly diagnosed and getting to where she is today: a place of mental stability and managing a healthy lifestyle and attitude.
stark story - part ii
stark story - part 2
debby stark (part 2)
in part two of this interview, debby talks about the importance of having a supportive network of friends and professionals in her life that help keep her healthy. she also discusses the positive effect having personal goals, and how "getting involved" with others helped her overcome her own challenges.
story kleinwechter
kleinwechter story
part 1
hope kleinwechter (part 1)
a resident of alexandria, mn, hope kleinwechter was diagnosed with anxiety and depression as a young girl and later, as a college student, was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder after the death of a close friend.  hope talks about working through mental illness and how she began a process of recovery.
story kleinwechter
kleinwechter story
part 2
hope kleinwechter (part 2)
in part two hope talks about using pro-active steps to live a healthy and full life, including forcing herself out of her comfort zone to be able to handle more. hope also offers perspective and sound advice for anyone diagnosed with a mental illness.
story kiehn
kiehn story
amy kiehn
amy, a resident of alexandria, mn, shares her early struggles with manic depressive disorder, mood swings and depression and how she manages her illness and lives a productive life today.
story brooks
brooks story
susan brooks
susan brooks was diagnosed with bi-polar2 disorder in the mid-1990's. brooks shares her life experiences with mental illness, and how today she is able to live a healthy and balanced life.
story westrom
westrom story
emma westrom
emma westrom is a retired teacher living in elbow lake, minnesota. emma grew up with a mentally ill mother who was never diagnosed or treated. emma was diagnosed with depression after a suicide attempt in early adulthood. she has since been an active advocate for mental illness treatment and understanding.
story voorhees
voorhees story
carol and ward voorhees
carol and ward live in morris, minnesota. carol was hospitalized in a state hospital in 1963 after ward noticed symptoms of mental illness, and was eventually diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. carol and ward share the uncertain early days, and 46 years of working together toward a successful life.
story freels - part i
freels story - part 1
janice freels (part 1)
janice freels worked as an engineer with 3m for 40 years and, now retired, lives in glenwood minnesota. in part one of her story, janice shares about her life and the dramatic events that led to being diagnosed with bi-polar disorder in the mid-1990's.
story freels - part ii
freels story - part 2
janice freels (part 2)
in part two, janice discusses "shadow" her service dog, prescribed to her by her psychiatrist. she also talks about the improvements that have occurred in her life as she has learned to manage her illness.
story peterson
peterson story
gale peterson
gale peterson lives in alexandria, mn and is diagnosed with schizo-effective bi-polar type disorder. gale shares about her childhood in an abusive home with family who were all diagnosed with mental illnesses. she also shares how she has moved past childhood pain and denial of her illness, and now lives a satisfying life.
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*names may be changed to protect identity.