Exposing the Mental Health Crisis Among Special Needs Caregivers
We need your help!
We are now raising funds to create the first episode of the series! Your donation is tax-deductible when made through The Lucas Project, a nonprofit providing resources and respite to caregivers of special needs kids. Click here to donate now!
What is episode 01 about?
Episode 01 of the series will feature Jess and Ryan Ronne. They married after they each lost their spouse to brain cancer. Their blended family is made up of 8 children, including Lucas, their 15-year-old, non-verbal son with profound special needs who requires around-the-clock care. Lucas’ autistic behaviors include incessant screaming and frequent outbursts, putting Jess and Ryan constantly on edge, even sending Ryan to the emergency room with anxiety attacks. As they sit on waiting lists for underfunded state and private programs, Lucas’ autistic behaviors grow more concerning with his age and strength.
The physical and mental exhaustion, plus the uncertainty of how they will care for Lucas in the future, is overwhelming. We’ll go behind closed doors to see what life as a special needs caregiver is really like, and follow Jess and Ryan as they figure out what’s next for their family.
If you know a special needs family or have just seen one in public, you’ve probably wondered how they do it. You’ve probably had questions you were afraid to ask. You may have even wanted to help, but not known how. This episode will give you a raw, unfiltered view into the lives of people who are used to going unseen.
Why is this project needed?
We can give you statistics about how special needs caregivers have high stress and failing health. But stats are easy to ignore.
We can show you news articles about tragedies that happen when caregivers don’t get the support they need. You’ll pause, but then go on with your day.
Until we put names, faces and stories with the struggles of special needs caregivers, they will continue to go unseen. This project is a step toward the recognition and resources that caregivers deserve — from us as individuals and our society at large.
How much money do you need to raise?
Our intial goal is $20,000 to cover basic production expenses. Any additional funds raised now or in the future will likely go toward post-production, distribution and marketing expenses.
How will the money be used?
The bulk of our expenses are equipment, crew members and talent. We’ve trimmed the bugdet as much as we can to still allow us to create a compelling, beautiful film that does the subjects and their stories justice.
What do I get if I donate?
Our eternal gratitude and the knowledge that you have contributed to bringing something good and life-changing into the world!
And…for all donations of $50 or more, you’ll receive free access to watch the first episode when it’s released, and you’ll get your name in the credits and on our website!
There is often a very dark reality to being a caregiver for an individual with profound special needs.
We see uplifting, heartwarming stories about people with special needs, focused on hope and inspiration, but there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes. Many of their caregivers are struggling. They face tremendous pressure that is rarely relieved, and feel exhausted and isolated, with few who understand the realities of their situation.
The result is a mental health crisis among caregivers. It looks like depression, anxiety, insomnia, alcoholism, suicide, PTSD, and drug abuse. It takes the form of declining physical health and failing relationships. This unseen epidemic is affecting families in our neighborhoods, schools, and churches.
Caregivers don’t see their stories represented in media — until something tragic happens. Even family and friends don’t fully understand the internal and external struggles they face.
Special needs caregivers know how to make it look like everything is under control. They know how to shield those around them from the chaos and unpredictably that define their lives. But for many special needs caregivers, the present is heavy and the future often looks dark. The Unseen documentary will bring caregivers and their stories into the light.
Share Your Caregiver Story
Our Partners & Sponsors
THE LUCAS PROJECT
Our Fiscal Sponsor
The Lucas Project is a nonprofit organization that provides recognition, resources and respite to caregivers of special needs children. The Lucas Project is serving as our fiscal sponsor for this project. Learn more....
Your donation to fund this documentary is tax-deductible when made through The Lucas Project. Donate now...
Jennifer Vanden Burg
Mary Jo LaMont
Adam & Mary Rosenbaum
Katie & Tim Miller
Ashleigh & Grant Cote
Bill & Janice Queen
Levi & Kelly Watson
Ben & Amanda McCreary
Thomas & Rachel Kirk
The Lucas Project
WE NEED YOUR HELP
Are you an organization dedicated to supporting caregivers and special needs families?
Let's talk about how we can work together to further your mission! Get in touch with Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you want to see this documentary come to life?
Your financial support is crucial to funding the travel, equipment and other expenses necessary for production and distribution. Please consider making a donation.