Joseph J. Laurencelle Memorial Foundation

“No Ordinary Joe: Erasing the Stigma of Mental Illness”

The documentary “No Ordinary Joe: Erasing the Stigma of Mental Illness” premiered on WTVS-Detroit Public Television in 2004 to great acclaim. This moving story about teenage depression was inspired by the life of Joe Laurencelle and aired nationally on PBS stations during Mental Health Month in May 2005.

“No Ordinary Joe” features experts from leading research facilities, including Wayne State, Harvard and Johns Hopkins universities. The award-winning PBS special discusses the ongoing battle against mental illness. Also in the documentary, Joe's friends and family members, teens and college students offer their thoughts on the impact of depression and other mental illnesses on the nation’s youth and their families.

We all know someone like Joe. By sharing the Laurencelle family’s story, JJLMF hopes to educate and increase awareness of mental illness to help change the way people think, and ultimately save lives.

Feedback from viewers

“I was greatly touched and impressed by this documentary. The delicate balance of the severity and devastation of mental illness versus the hope and possibility of improvement and recovery was perfectly kept throughout the program. I believe every teacher and every teenager should see it.”

“Thanks for doing your part to help to erase the stigma of mental illness by showing the film. It was No Ordinary Documentary. A difficult program was handled sensitively and informatively.”

“The combination of personal story, interviews with family and teens, and information/professional commentary work really well. I felt the family and teens were very real, making their stories compelling.”

“It was fantastic and very well done with great information, a real sense of the personal, a glimpse into the life of the individual and family.”

“Your dedication and commitment to defeating the ignorance and stigma associated with mental illness continues to both motivate and inspire us.”

“Bravo. I watched ‘No Ordinary Joe’ last night, and really thought it was well done. I stayed home with the express intention of getting some things done, but once I flipped it on, I couldn’t stop watching. I’m still behind on my work, but I’m a wiser person!”

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