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2010 Media

Media Advisory

Date: October 8, 2010
Media Contact: SAMHSA Press Office, 240–276–2134
Mark Weber, (301) 651-3625 (cell)

Annual award program will honor screenwriters, producers, and behavioral health advocates raising awareness and understanding of mental and behavioral health problems

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will honor former first lady and champion for mental health awareness Rosalynn Carter at the 2010 Voice Awards. Carter’s 40-year campaign to improve the mental health system and educate the public about the impact of behavioral health on American families, especially military families, has reduced the misperceptions and prejudice associated with mental health problems and encouraged more people to seek recovery. The event—co-hosted by Emmy Award winner Hector Elizondo and Academy Award winner Louis Gossett, Jr.—will take place on Wednesday, October 13, 2010, at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, Calif. The annual event brings together representatives from the entertainment industry and the behavioral health community for an evening of awareness raising about the contributions people living with mental health and substance use problems make to their communities.

The Voice Awards honor writers and producers who have given a voice to people with behavioral health conditions by incorporating dignified, respectful, and accurate portrayals of these individuals into film and television productions. In response to the overwhelming number of nominated programs featuring storylines about the behavioral health needs of service members and their families, the fifth anniversary of the Voice Awards will recognize the countless contributions of America’s military and spotlight the growing behavioral health challenges they face as they return home from war. This year, military- and non-military-themed nominees include Temple Grandin, The Dry Land, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, Army Wives, Grey’s Anatomy, Parenthood, and Sesame Workshop’s “Coming Home: Military Families Cope with Change.”

The Voice Awards also will celebrate the achievements of community leaders with lived experience of mental health and/or substance use problems who are working to promote the social inclusion of their peers and offer hope for the real possibility of recovery. Moe Armstrong of Cambridge, Mass., will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for his leadership and contributions to the mental health recovery movement and veteran’s mental health. Consumer Leadership Awards will be bestowed on five mental health advocates and community leaders—Gayle Bluebird, Gainesville, Fla.; Frederick Frese, Ph.D., Akron, Ohio; Clarence Jordan, Nashville, Tenn.; LaVerne Miller, Esq., Delmar, N.Y.; and Janet Paleo, San Antonio, Texas. The Young Adult Leadership Award will be presented to Lorrin Gehring of Provo, Utah.

WHAT: 2010 Voice Awards—www.voiceawards.samhsa.gov

WHEN: Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Red Carpet Arrival—6 p.m., PDT
Awards Ceremony—7 p.m., PDT
After-Party Event—9 p.m., PDT

WHERE: Paramount Theater at Paramount Studios, 5555 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, CA

VISUAL: Pre-event red carpet photo opportunities

To attend the event or request an interview, contact Crystal Borde at 202–248–5448.

For more information about the Voice Awards and to view the list of collaborating organizations, visit www.voiceawards.samhsa.gov, follow @samhsagov on Twitter and/or visit www.facebook.com/samhsa Exit Disclaimer on Facebook.

The Voice Awards are part of the Campaign for Mental Health Recovery, a multi-year public service advertising program of SAMHSA and the Ad Council to promote understanding and support for young adults and others with mental and behavioral health problems.

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.

For more information about the Voice Awards, please contact Ryan Parks at 202–248-5457, or voiceawards@vancomm.com.
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