SAMHSA Honors Media Depictions of Behavioral Health Issues
By Riggin Waugh
At the fifth annual Voice Awards celebration, SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., presented a special achievement award to former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. For her work as an advocate for mental health.
At this year’s Voice Awards, former First Lady Rosalyn Carter (right) graciously accepted SAMHSA’s Lifetime Leadership in Behavioral Health Award from SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde (left).
Mrs. Carter received the Agency’s Lifetime Leadership in Behavioral Health Award (see photo). Mrs. 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.
The Voice Awards honor writers and producers of hit film and television productions for increasing awareness of mental health and substance use issues. In addition, consumer leaders receive recognition for their outstanding work in promoting community acceptance for people with mental illnesses. (See photos from the event.)
“The outstanding work 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.
This year, the celebration—cohosted by Emmy-winning actor Hector Elizondo and Academy Award-winning actor Louis Gossett, Jr.—also recognized the countless contributions of America’s military men and women. Many face behavioral health issues as they return home from the battlefield to their communities and families.
SAMHSA honored former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and seven other behavioral health advocates at the 2010 Voice Awards. (Left to right) Clarence Jordan, Moe Armstrong, SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde, Rosalynn Carter, Lorrin Gehring, Gayle Bluebird, Janet Paleo, LaVerne Miller, and Fred Frese.
Consumer Leadership Award recipients included:
- Gayle Bluebird, Gainesville, FL
- Fredrick Frese, Akron, OH
- Clarence Jordan, Nashville, TN
- LaVerne Miller, Delmar, NY
- Janet Paleo, San Antonio, TX.
The honor acknowledged their work to promote community acceptance and to support the recovery of people with mental illness. Lorrin Gehring, Provo, UT, received the Young Adult Leadership Award.
“SAMHSA is also pleased to recognize national consumer leaders with Voice Awards,” said Administrator Hyde. “Thanks to these leaders, more people know the power of recovery.”
Moe Armstrong of West Haven, CT, received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his leadership and contributions to the behavioral health recovery movement. He first experienced and was hospitalized for psychiatric symptoms at age 21 while serving in the Vietnam War.
Later, Mr. Armstrong 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 veteran centers in 39 cities across the country.
The Voice Awards are a collaborative effort among a wide array of groups in the entertainment industry and the behavioral health communities. Read a full list of organizations involved in this effort.
See more photos from the 2010 event.
Among the Voice Award presenters this year were America Ferrera of The Dry Land, Peter Krause of “Parenthood,” Julia Ormond of “Temple Grandin,” Sandra Oh of “Grey’s Anatomy,” Elmo of “Sesame Street,” and Marc Indelicato and Tony Plana of “Ugly Betty.”
- “Army Wives” (Lifetime) for a series of episodes addressing how post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 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 PTSD on military families
- “Mental” (FOX) for the episode “Lines in the Sand” addressing the effect of PTSD on military families
- “Mercy” (NBC) for the episode “Pulling the Goalie” addressing the effect of PTSD on military families
- “Parenthood” (NBC) for the episodes “Pilot,” “Man Versus Possum,” and “The Deep End of the Pool” addressing Asperger’s syndrome
- “Temple Grandin” (HBO) for addressing autism.
- Adam for addressing Asperger’s syndrome
- The Dry Land for addressing the effect of PTSD on military families
- Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire for addressing depression.
- “Coming Home: Military Families Cope with Change” (Sesame Workshop) for addressing the effects of PTSD and traumatic brain injury on military families
- “No Kidding, Me Too!” for addressing the effects of clinical depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder on military families
- “This Emotional Life” (PBS) for addressing PTSD, depression, and anxiety and including their effects on military families.