In the winter of 2017, Dr. Lisa Herman Lovelace (a psychologist who owns Synergy eTherapy) needed new photographs for her website. Lisa’s husband, David, knew of someone in his circle of friends who was really freaking incredible – Laura Dizon who owns Tiny Acorn Portraits. During their photo shoot, they started talking about mental health and the increase in stigma and suicides.
Five years ago, Laura lost her brother Aaron to suicide. He was a talented musician who was well-known in the Minneapolis music community. He was kind, smart, and had a lot of supportive friends in his world. However, he was struggling inside. What we know now is that he felt like he was “just existing, not living” and took his life. This was devastating and very confusing. After a few years of grief, Laura decided that she wanted to make it her mission to honor his memory by helping others in similar situations get the help and support they deserve.
In 2012 Dr. Lisa started offering mental health by phone and video to people as a way to increase access to mental health care. In 2017, she expanded by creating a group tele-mental health therapy practice, Synergy eTherapy, as more people were needing these services if they can’t or won’t go to a clinic to be seen. They see their patients by phone and video from anywhere in the state of MN (and other states as well).
Laura and Lisa share the same mission, but one is from a personal experience and the other is from a clinical perspective. They teamed up and started a grass-roots charity called Shout Out Loud MN! They started a simple non-profit and are like “charity fairies” or in other words, a “pass through” charity where they raise money for other tax exempt non-profits with 501c3 status. Laura and Lisa volunteer their time to advocate for those who need them to Shout Out Loud for them!
In the spring of 2018, they decided to do something with their advocacy and planned a 12-hour charity event in just 3 months! They raised over 16K for NAMI MN and Canvas Health (two Minnesota non-profits with a similar mission). They only had volunteers to help put on this event, including speakers, the bands, music production, etc. that helped to make the first annual event a huge success!
Here’s what’s amazing and kind of fortuitous – all along the way, since Laura and Lisa first met (or maybe even before!) there have been a series of fortunate events, meetings, experiences, etc that have connection and meaning that goes beyond happenstance.
Check out the website for more information on this year’s event!
Ways to help
We need your help! Here are some ways you can contribute to this important cause: