Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and Center for Mental Health Services, the Voice Awards program honors consumer/peer leaders who have played a vital role in raising awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and worked to reduce the discrimination and misperceptions associated with people with behavioral health problems. Through their personal stories and advocacy efforts, these individuals demonstrate that recovery is real and that people with behavioral health problems are valuable, contributing members of their schools, workplaces, and communities.
The awards program also recognizes TV and film writers and producers who have given a voice to people with behavioral health problems by incorporating dignified, respectful, and accurate portrayals of these individuals into their scripts, programs, and productions. These dedicated, insightful, and influential professionals have helped change how TV and film viewers understand mental and substance use disorders and accept people with behavioral health problems.
Nominated consumer/peer leaders are evaluated based on their outstanding contributions in all of the following areas:
These nominees are reviewed by a panel of judges that includes consumer/peer leaders in recovery from mental health and/or substance use disorders and behavioral health advocates, as well as representatives from HHS and communication professionals.
TV and film production nominees are evaluated based on the criteria listed below:
Nominated productions do not need to reflect every element to receive an award. However, the highest ratings are reserved for those productions that emphasize the positive journey of recovery from behavioral health problems.
These nominees are reviewed by a panel of judges that includes TV and film writers and producers, consumer/peer leaders in recovery from mental health and/or substance use disorders and behavioral health advocacy organizations, as well as representatives from HHS and other Voice Awards program partners.