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SAMHSA News - July/August 2005, Volume 13, Number 4

SAMHSA Honors Film, TV, Radio Portrayals of Mental Illness

The Voice Awards logoWriters 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 problems.

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 community—and affect almost every family—in the United States.

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 problems.

Ms. Shields recently wrote a book about her experiences with postpartum depression.

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 visit www.allmentalhealth.samhsa.gov/voiceawardsEnd of Article

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photos of Voice Awards logo (top left), SAMHSA Administrator Charles G. Curie (top right), and hosts Mariette Hartley (bottom left) and Kathleen Sullivan (bottom right) at Voice Awards gala in Los Angeles

SAMHSA Administrator Charles G. Curie (top right) presented the Voice Awards.

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

photo of SAMHSA Administrator Charles G. Curie presenting Special Recognition Award to Maurice Benard at the Voice Awards gala
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 Postel

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Part 2

From the Administrator: Maximizing the Benefit of Medicare

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Mental Health Action Agenda Released

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Boulder, Boston Areas Report Most Marijuana Use

DAWN Data Released on Drug Deaths

SAMHSA News

SAMHSA News - July/August 2005, Volume 13, Number 4




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