PBS North to premiere mental-health series tonight

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An ambitious 18-part series of call-in shows on mental health premieres tonight (Sept. 30), produced by WDSE/WRPT PBS North, serving northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. The 30-minute Speak Your Mind, airing Thursday nights, aims to openly discuss mental health topics, increase public awareness and reduce the stigma of mental illness. It’s hosted by psychologist Dr. Caroline Phelps and former local news anchor Pat Kelly. Topics include depression, managing stress, family issues, learning and behavioral problems in children, anxiety and eating disorders.

For 28 years the station has done Doctors on Call “to give the community the language they need to communicate with their doctors,” Juli Kellner, WDSE director of production and programming, told Current. “Just now we are moving into mental health and attempting to demystify that.”

The premiere will present the documentary “Look It in the Eye,” by filmmaker Dan Woods of Superior, Wisc., featuring two families confronting mental illness. Following the film, a panel of mental health professionals will answer viewer questions.

The project is produced in cooperation with the mental-health focused Human Development Center in Duluth, Minn., which provided funding, Kellner said. Local businesses also pitched in for supplies to build the set.

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