On August 24, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) paid tribute to Ron Barber, district director for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and survivor of the January 8 Tucson, Ariz. shooting, with a Special Recognition Award at the 2011 Voice Awards. Barber, Tucson Mayor Robert E. Walkup, and his wife Beth were honored for promoting civility and public understanding of mental health issues, as well as their ongoing efforts to help Tucson and the Nation heal from trauma.
Hosted by Emmy and Golden Globe award nominee and NBC’s “Parenthood” star Peter Krause, the event took place at Paramount Studios and convened representatives from the entertainment industry and behavioral health community for an evening of education and awareness about the societal contributions of people living with behavioral health problems. Attendees celebrated Voice Award-winning individuals, community leaders in recovery for mental and substance use disorders, and entertainment industry productions. SAMHSA, the event sponsor, was represented by Center for Substance Abuse Treatment Director H. Westley Clark, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., CAS, FASAM.
In 2011, SAMHSA emphasized awareness about the impact of trauma and the significant effects it can have on individuals, families and friends, and communities across the country. Consideration was given to consumer/peer leaders who had successfully advocated for the rights of trauma survivors and promoted the importance of trauma-informed care, as well as the writers and producers of entertainment programming that highlighted stories of resilience, courage, and recovery.