SAMHSA Honors Film, TV, Radio Portrayals of Mental Illness
and producers of "The Aviator," "ER,"
"Monk," and "Scrubs" were honored
recently by SAMHSA with the Agency's first Voice Awards
for their positive portrayals of people with mental health
Sponsored by SAMHSA, the Voice Awards recognized film, TV, and
radio writers and producers who have created positive, accurate,
and dignified portrayals of people with mental health problems.
The gala awards ceremony, hosted by Mariette Hartley and Kathleen
Sullivan, was held at the Skirball Cultural Center's Ahmanson Ballroom
in Los Angeles, CA, on July 20.
Actors Brooke Shields and Maurice Benard, and Spanish-language
television network Univision, were honored for their activities
on behalf of mental health awareness. In addition, Neal Baer received
a special Career Achievement Award for his work in bringing mental
health issues into the mainstream. Mr. Baer is executive producer
of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and former
executive producer of "ER."
"The entertainment industry is a powerful vehicle for helping
shape public opinion," said SAMHSA Administrator Charles G.
Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W. "Positive portrayals show the Nation
that people with mental health problems do live, learn, work, and
fully participate in the American community."
In addition to the entertainment awards, the Voice Awards recognize
mental health advocates across the country for their efforts to
expand public understanding that mental health problems exist in
every communityand affect almost every familyin the
Mr. Baer co-created the character of Maggie Lockhart (portrayed
by Sally Field), a woman who is struggling with her bipolar disorder,
on NBC's "ER." As executive producer of "Law and
Order: SVU," he created several characters with mental health
Ms. Shields recently wrote a book about her experiences with postpartum
Univision devoted extensive coverage to mental health awareness
through its intiative, "Salud es Vida . . . ¡Entérate!"
(Health Is Life . . . Inform Yourself!).
Program partners of the Voice Awards include the American Psychiatric
Foundation, the American Psychological Association, the National
Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, and the Mental
Health Media Partnership.
The Voice Awards are part of SAMHSA's Elimination of Barriers Initiative
(EBI), a collaborative pilot effort between SAMHSA and eight state
mental health authorities in California, Florida, Massachusetts,
North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.
For more information about the Voice Awards or the EBI
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Charles G. Curie (top right) presented the Voice
Mariette Hartley (bottom left)
and Kathleen Sullivan (bottom right) hosted the
Voice Awards gala in Los Angeles, CA. Both diagnosed
with bipolar disorder, they are outspoken advocates
for mental health awareness. Ms. Sullivan is also
a member of SAMHSA's National Advisory Council.
Photos by Albert Postel
|Mr. Curie presents
the Special Recognition Award to Emmy-Award winner
Maurice Benard, who has bipolar disorder. Mr. Benard
is best known for his portrayal of Sonny Corinthos
on "General Hospital." Photo by Albert
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