SAMHSA Honors Movie, Television, and Other Media Depictions of Behavioral Health Issues at Star-Studded Voice Awards

Oct 13, 2010, 18:00 ET from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter to be honored for her work in championing the importance of behavioral health.

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will honor writers and producers of hit film and television productions for increasing awareness of mental health and substance use issues at the 2010 Voice Awards this evening at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. Emmy Award-winning actor Hector Elizondo and Academy Award-winning actor Louis Gossett, Jr., will co-host the fifth anniversary event, which will spotlight story lines that illustrate the unique challenges facing military families.

"The Dry Land's" America Ferrera, "Parenthood's" Peter Krause, "Temple Grandin's" Julia Ormond, "Grey's Anatomy's" Sandra Oh, "Sesame Street's" Elmo, and "Ugly Betty's" Marc Indelicato and Tony Plana are among the array of  actors from nominated programs who will present awards at this event.

"SAMHSA is grateful to the writers and producers of these stories for bringing national attention to the plight and courage of people with behavioral health conditions and their families. The outstanding works we honor tonight can have a profound impact and advance public understanding of mental illnesses and addictions," said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. "SAMHSA is also pleased to recognize national consumer leaders with Voice Awards. These individuals have walked the walk and shared the story to help others find their way. Thanks to these leaders, more people know the power of recovery."

This year, the award program will recognize the countless contributions of America's military men and women and spotlight the behavioral health issues they face as they return home from the battlefield to their communities and their families.

Awards also will be given to outstanding leaders in the behavioral health recovery movement who promote the social inclusion of people with behavioral health problems and exemplify the real possibility of recovery.

The 2010 Voice Awards entertainment winners are:

Television Category

  • "Army Wives" (Lifetime) for a series of episodes addressing how post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries can effect military members and their families;
  • "Desperate Housewives" (ABC) for the episode "How About a Friendly Shrink?" addressing inpatient psychiatric care;
  • "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC) for the episodes "Good Mourning" and "Goodbye" addressing the effect of post-traumatic stress disorder on military families;
  • "Mental" (FOX) for the episode "Lines in the Sand" addressing the effect of post-traumatic stress disorder on military families;
  • "Mercy" (NBC) for the episode "Pulling the Goalie" addressing the effect of post-traumatic stress disorder on military families;
  • "Parenthood" (NBC) for the episodes "Pilot," "Man Versus Possum," and "The Deep End of the Pool" addressing Asperger's Syndrome; and
  • "Temple Grandin" (HBO) for addressing autism.

Film Category

  • "Adam" for addressing Asperger's Syndrome;
  • "The Dry Land" for addressing the effect of post-traumatic stress disorder on military families; and
  • "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" for addressing depression.

Documentary Category

  • "Coming Home: Military Families Cope with Change" (Sesame Workshop) for addressing the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury on military families;
  • "No Kidding, Me Too!" for addressing the effects of clinical depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on military families; and
  • "This Emotional Life" (PBS) for addressing post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety and including their effects on military families.

In addition, SAMHSA will honor former First Lady Rosalynn Carter with the SAMHSA Special Career Recognition Award for her work in championing mental health awareness. Carter's 40-year campaign to improve the mental health system and to educate American families, including military families, about behavioral health has reduced prejudice and discrimination and encouraged more people to seek recovery.

A Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Moe Armstrong of West Haven, Conn., for his leadership and contributions to the behavioral health recovery movement. Armstrong first experienced and was hospitalized for psychiatric symptoms at age 21 while serving in the Vietnam War. Later, he became an advocate for people with mental health and substance use issues and founded the Vet-to-Vet Program, which uses a peer support model with veterans helping other veterans deal with behavioral health issues and support resiliency and recovery. The program now operates in veterans' centers in 39 cities around the country.

The Voice Awards will also bestow Consumer Leadership Awards on five consumer leaders—Gayle Bluebird, Gainesville, Fla.; Fredrick Frese, Ph.D., Akron, Ohio; Clarence Jordan, Nashville, Tenn.; LaVerne Miller, Esq., Delmar, N.Y.; and Janet Paleo, San Antonio, Texas. The Voice Awards will present the Young Adult Leadership Award to Lorrin Gehring of Provo, Utah. These individuals will be honored for their work to promote community acceptance and support to facilitate recovery for people with mental illness.

The Voice Awards are a collaborative effort among a wide array of groups in the entertainment industry and the behavioral health communities including the Ad Council; American Academy of Physician Assistants; American Counseling Association; American Psychiatric Foundation; American Psychological Association; The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors; Creative Coalition; Mental Health America; Mental Health Media Partnership; National Alliance on Mental Illness; National Association of Social Workers; National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors; RTI International; and the Writers Guild of America, West; as well as several military support and advocacy organizations. For a full list of organizations involved in this effort, visit

SAMHSA is a public health agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.

Suggested Twitter Messages about the Voice Awards:

  • This year, @samhsagov's #VoiceAwards honors #film & #tv portraying #mentalhealth & substance use issues facing #militaryfamilies
  • Rosalynn Carter to receive Special Recognition Award for #mentalhealth work at the 2010 #VoiceAwards:
  • Join @samhsagov at the #VoiceAwards, honoring accurate #mentalhealth stories in #tv & #film:

SOURCE Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)