PBS Hawaii Presents will air a 30-minute film on Thursday, Mar. 31 at 8pm that follows mental health clients and their advocates through the Haleakala Crater in search of clarity and relief from social stigma. The film, Haleakala–A Trek for Dignity, was directed by mental health client Don Lane and produced by Tom Vendetti, PhD, an established documentary filmmaker.
“Don and I made Haleakala–A Trek for Dignity as a part of a social movement to help rid stigma around the topic of mental illness and to demonstrate that those with mental illness are capable of extraordinary achievements,” said Vendetti, who is also Clinical Supervisor of Mental Health Kokua’s Maui offices.
Lane, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, said he wants to speak to other people that may be experiencing mental illness and let them know that they are not alone. “People need to see that recovery is possible given the opportunity,” Lane said.
Mental Health Kokua’s CEO Greg Payton said MHK was proud to support the documentary. “It symbolizes the resiliency of the human spirit,” Payton said about the film; MHK also is an associate producer of the film and a driving force that allowed the film to become a reality.
Mental Health Kokua was founded in 1973 as a non-profit, Hawaii corporation, in which the mission is to assist people with mental health and related challenges, to achieve optimum recovery and functioning in the community.
Don Lane is an emerging Maui filmmaker and mental health advocate. Lane works as the Media Specialist for Mental Health Kokua. His career began with music videos and commercials following film school at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. Don has now segued into documentary filmmaking in hopes to put a spotlight on social issues with a character based approach.
Photo of Haleakala: Abhinaba Basu/Wikimedia Commons