DOCUMENTARY SERIES

Exposing the Mental Health Crisis Among Special Needs Caregivers

Special needs caregivers are exhausted and isolated, and their mental and physical struggle is a public health crisis that often ends in tragedy. This documentary will give an unfiltered, honest glimpse into their lives to enable a change for millions of caregivers and their families.

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.

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.

Click here to read more about why this project is needed.

How much money do you need to raise?

Our initial goal is $20,000 to cover basic production expenses. Any additional funds raised now or in the future will 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.

From the constant demands of daily life to the unknowns in the future, special needs caregivers experience exhaustion and stress on a level others can’t fathom.

Feeling pressure to make it look like they have everything under control, many caregivers feel alone in their struggle. They don’t see their stories represented in media — until a caregiver reaches his or her breaking point and it makes the local news.

With few solutions within reach, many caregivers face declining mental and physical health. Their smiling faces are often hiding depression, anxiety, loneliness, PTSD, insomnia, alcoholism, and drug abuse.

If anything is going to change — if caregivers are ever going to get the support and resources they deserve — they first have to be seen and heard. The Unseen documentary will bring caregivers and their stories into the light.

Share Your Caregiver Story

We are seeking caregivers who want to share their story and mental health challenges. For more information, email us at caregiverdocumentary@gmail.com and let us know you're interested.

Our Partners & Sponsors

FISCAL SPONSOR

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....

Tax-Deductible Donations

Your donation to fund this documentary is tax-deductible when made through The Lucas Project. Donate now...

 

STRATEGIC PARTNERS

SPECIAL THANKS

BACKERS

($1-$99)

Carol Johnson
Victoria Curtis
Rebecca Queen-Johnson
Shawn Weston
Stephanie Gerster
Jennifer Vanden Burg
Kelli McInstosh
Frederick Marvel
Evelyn Owens
Amanda Pelar
Kinerette Martin
Lisa Dzialo
Pat & Joe LeCount
Karie Dillinger
James Kole
Lori Reinke
Melissa Long
Lindsay Spitler

Stacey Skrocki
Sarah Zalan
David Morgan
Alyce Kaplan
Jamie Berra
Tamar Rothstein
Kara Bufalino
Constance Page
Liz Redd
Christina Kiefer
Sarah Hess
Denise Lombardi
Ivett O'Quinn
Carrie Moses
Denise Hunter
Karin Lunsford
Millie Calabrese
Lucinda Peterson
Banu Ahmed
Diedra Darst
Brenda Martinez

FRIENDS

($100-$499)

Katie Allred
Tammy Ramirez
Mary Jo LaMont
Jesse Bowman
Adam & Mary Rosenbaum
Katie & Tim Miller
Ashleigh & Grant Cote
Angela Reichert
Jan Gaines
Andrew Khouw
Keith & Lindsay DeYoung
Dave & Nichole Kooistra

Lisa Lombardi
Aimee Wisyanski
Julia Coorey
Tricia Dimmitt
Kara Van Roten
Lisa Graham-Garza
Kate McCalla
James Batek
T. Smith
Cindy Decker
Erica Cronin
Liz & Matthew Queen
Franca Gioia
Lisa Pena
William Tuttle
Gord & Holly Van Vuren
Lorin & Debra Bossenbroek

SUPPORTERS

($500-$999)

Bill & Janice Queen
Levi & Kelly Watson
Ben & Amanda McCreary
Sharon & Andy Dyer
Jackie Parambil
Stephen & Lydia Roberts

PARTNERS
($1,000+)

Thomas & Rachel Kirk
The Lucas Project
Landslide Creative
Escher Family Fund
Priya Iyer
Mike & Tara Sherd