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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
May/June 2009, Volume 17, Number 3 

PRISM Awards logo - click to view the PRISM Awards Web site

SAMHSA Helps Honor Accuracy in Entertainment

At the annual PRISM Awards, some of Hollywood’s biggest names joined in to celebrate the accurate portrayal of substance abuse and mental health issues. (See Photo Gallery.)

The awards honor outstanding accomplishments in the accurate depiction of drug, alcohol and tobacco use and addiction, as well as mental health issues, in film, television, interactive, comic book, music, and DVD entertainment.

The PRISM Awards are produced by the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc., (EIC) in collaboration with SAMHSA and the FX Network.

Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H., Acting Surgeon General, participated in this year’s ceremony.

“It's been such an honor to participate in this year’s PRISM Awards with a group of people who have helped send a strong and clear message,” said Dr. Galson. “The entertainment industry can continue to help people understand that addiction and mental illness are an illness and that treatment is available, recovery is possible, and that friends and family play an important role in that process.”

Notable Winners

The following individuals received awards:

  • William Shatner for Performance in a Drama Episode in ABC’s “Boston Legal”
  • Benjamin Bratt for Best Performance in a Drama Multi-Episode Storyline for A & E’s “The Cleaner”
  • Chandra Wilson for Performance in a TV Movie or Miniseries in Hallmark Channel's “Accidental Friendship”
  • Dana Delany for Performance in a Comedy Series for ABC’s “Desperate Housewives”

Anne Hathaway was recognized in the Performance in a Feature Film category Rachel Getting Married. That film, about a woman who is released from rehab to attend her sister’s wedding, also received an award for Feature Film.

The film Stop-Loss, the story of a decorated Iraq war soldier, received an award for Feature Film—Mental Health.

A&E President and General Manager Robert DeBitetto received the Larry Stewart Leadership & Inspiration Award for his addiction and treatment related programming initiatives. For instance, in the Unscripted Non-Fiction category, the A&E series “Intervention” earned a PRISM for the fourth consecutive year.

A full list of 2009 winners appears below.

About Award Winners

Honorees for the PRISM Awards are selected by an 80-person committee of entertainment industry professionals and technical experts from the fields of medicine, mental health, and addiction. Winners are selected for their entertainment value, accessibility of their message, and scientific accuracy. The production in each category that best exemplifies these three objectives is presented with an award.

Members of the public are encouraged to visit the PRISM Awards Web site to submit recommendations for shows that were accurate in their depiction of substance abuse, addiction, treatment, or recovery. In addition, you can send word if you saw a show that didn’t treat these issues accurately.

Find out more about the PRISM Awards. Find out more about SAMHSA.

2009 PRISM Award Winners

Film Awards

Feature Film
Rachel Getting Married

Feature Film—Mental Health

Performance in a Feature Film
Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married

Film Festival

Television Awards

Comedy Episode
“King of the Hill” for “Dia-BILL-ick Shock”

Comedy Multi-Episode Storyline
“The Office” for “Night Out” / “Goodbye Toby” / “Weight Loss” / “Business Ethics”

Performance in a Comedy Series
Dana Delany in “Desperate Housewives”

Drama Episode
“Boston Legal” for “Smoke Signals”

Drama Series—Mental Health
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” for “Swing”

Performance in a Drama Episode
William Shatner in “Boston Legal”

Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline
“Breaking Bad” for Season 1

Performance in a Drama Multi-Episode Storyline
Benjamin Bratt in “The Cleaner”

TV Movie or Miniseries


Performance in a TV Movie or Miniseries
Chandra Wilson in “Accidental Friendship”

Daytime Drama Storyline
“All My Children” for Chandler’s Alcoholism

Teen or Children’s Program
“Nick News with Linda Ellerbee” for “Coming Home”

Talk Show Episode
“Dr. Phil” for “The Bridge”

Documentary Program
“Frontline” for “The Medicated Child”

Documentary—Mental Health
“American Experience” for “The Lobotomist”

Biographical Program
“American Masters” for “Marvin Gaye”

Unscripted Non-Fiction Program
“Intervention” for Season 4

Newsmagazine Segment
“ESPN Outside the Lines” for “Richard Jensen”

Other Awards

Music Recording
“In the Rooms” by Richie Supa

“Lost in Recovery” by Selfish Steam

Comic Book Storyline
“The Alcoholic”

Public Service Project
MTV’s “The Truth”

Original DVD
Flashbacks of a Fool

Larry Stewart Leadership & Inspiration Award
Robert DeBitetto, President & General Manager, A&E and BIO Networks.

President’s Budget

President’s Budget

FY2010 Budget sustains critical programs.

  Treatment Improvement  
Addressing Suicidal Thoughts & Behaviors

Addressing Suicidal Thoughts & Behaviors

From CSAT, TIP 50 offers guidance to substance abuse counselors on how to help clients who may be in crisis.

  Medication-Assisted Treatment  
Buprenorphine: Guide for Nurses

Buprenorphine: Guide for Nurses

Specific guidance for nurses and nurse care managers.

Methadone Safety

Methadone Safety

Safe use of methadone, a medication for opioid addiction, is the focus of a new campaign.

  Data on Depression  
MDE and Youth

MDE and Youth

In 2007, 2 million adolescents had a major depressive episode.

MDE and Adults

More than 16 million adults struggle with depression.

  Focus on Children  
Mental Health Awareness Day

Mental Health Awareness Day

Eight young people take center stage in a celebration of the arts as a way to cope with mental health problems. Photo Gallery.

Data on Children, Parents, Drugs

More than 8.3 million children lived with a parent who was dependent on or abused alcohol or drugs during the past year.

  Women’s Behavioral Health  
Mental Health Publications

Mental Health Publications

“Action Steps” for professionals and “What It Means To You” for consumers are available to order.

Pregnancy & Substance Abuse

Pregnancy & Substance Abuse

How much are alcohol and drugs used during pregnancy and after childbirth?

  Recovery Month  
20th Anniversary Includes TV Spots, PSAs

20th Anniversary Includes TV Spots, PSAs

With a few months to go, the Recovery Month Web site offers flyers, banners, and more.

  Also in this Issue  
PRISM Awards

PRISM Awards

Celebrating excellence in Hollywood. Photo Gallery.

ADDERALL® & College Students

ADDERALL® & College Students

Full-time college students are twice as likely to use Adderall® nonmedically.

Real Warriors Campaign

Real Warriors Campaign

Helping service members break through stigma to ask for help.

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Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration – 1 Choke Cherry Road – Rockville, MD 20857
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