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2008 Award Winners

Television Shows

Crossing Jordan
(Season 5, Episode 17: Save Me)

When a local teenager is found murdered, the neighborhood immediately suspects that a person with schizophrenia named Nate (Russell Sams) who lives in a halfway house in their community is guilty of the crime. With the neighborhood up in arms about the murder and the half way house, Detective Woody Hoyt (Jerry O'Connell) approaches the perceived murderer with much hostility. However, as the case unfolds and Detective Hoyt and Detective Tallulah 'Lu' Simmons (Leslie Bibb) learn more about schizophrenia, they determine that Nate is innocent and go to him for help in solving the crime. It turns out that the deceased teenager and her family were the only ones who welcomed the halfway house residents, and the murderer is actually the son of one of the more outspoken neighbors.

Writer: Linda Gase
Producers: Allan Arkush, Skip Beaudine, Melissa R. Byer, Jon Cowan, Rob Fresco, Linda Gase, Dennis Hammer, Treena Hancock, Tim Kring, Kathy McCormick, Lori Motyer, Robert Rovner, Emily Whitesell

(Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot)

During the pilot episode, the scheming editor of two Hollywood tabloid magazines, Lucy Spiller (Courteney Cox), works with her long-time friend and paparazzi photographer, Don Konkey (Ian Hart) to get him to zero in on photographing basketball superstar Prince Tyreese (Rick Fox) and the woman with whom he is having an affair. Don, who suffers from schizophrenia, begins to have frequent hallucinations and is forced to seek help and medication from his therapist. When Lucy expresses concern about Don’s well-being and the photos of Prince Tyreese, Don reassures her that he is fine and will get the job done.

Writer: Matthew Carnahan
Producers: David Arquette, Matthew Carnahan, Courteney Cox, Joe De Oliveira, Joel Fields, Chris Long, Stewart Lyons, Thea Mann, Sascha Schneider, Hynndie Wali

Friday Night Lights
(Season 1, Episodes 18-21: Extended Families; Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes; Mud Bowl; Best Laid Plans)

In this storyline, Brian "Smash" Williams (Gaius Charles), a Panther football star, becomes concerned when his girlfriend Waverly Grady (Aasha Davis) begins to exhibit unusual behaviors and unpredictable mood swings. When Waverly’s dad expresses the same concern, Smash approaches Waverly and is shocked when she tells him that she has bipolar disorder and has stopped taking her medication because she doesn’t like the way it makes her feel. Concerned about Waverly’s well-being, Smash tells one of Waverly’s friends that she has bipolar disorder and is not taking her medication. When Waverly finds out and confronts Smash about letting out her secret, he tells her that it’s not fair for him to have to keep her illness a secret, and that he loves her and wants to help, but doesn't know how.

Writers: Kerry Ehrin, Carter Harris, Elizabeth Heldens, David Hudgins, Jason Katims
Producers: Sarah Aubrey, Peter Berg, , John Cameron, Bridget Carpenter, Kerry Ehrin, Nan Bernstein Freed, Brian Grazer, Carter Harris, Elizabeth Heldens, Jeff Henry, David Hudgins, Jason Katims, Michael Lewis, Patrick Massett, David Nevins, Katie O'Hara, Jeffrey Reiner, John Zinman

General Hospital
(Season 44, Episodes #11095, #11097)
In this storyline, crime boss Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. While Sonny is unsure about the repercussions of his diagnosis and reluctant to begin the medication his therapist, Dr. Lainey Winters (Kent King) has prescribed, he finds comfort in the fact that there is a medical explanation for what he feels. With the support and encouragement of Dr. Winter, ex-wife Emily Quartermaine (Natalia Livingston), and brother-in-law Jason Morgan (Steve Burton), Sonny accepts his diagnosis and agrees to take his medication. Meanwhile, everyone close to Sonny must come to grips with his diagnosis, especially his wife Carly Corinthos Jacks (Laura Wright) and lawyer Alexis Davis (Nancy Lee Grahn) who must face the fact that their children could have inherited Sonny's condition.

Writer: Robert Guza Jr.
Producers: Mercer Barrows, Deborah A. Genovese, Robert Guza Jr., Michelle Henry, Mary O’Leary, Jill Farren Phelps

(Season 3, Episode 22: Resignation)

In this episode, after coughing up blood during martial arts practice, a 19-year-old patient named Addie (Lyndsy Fonseca) comes to the hospital with a mysterious condition. As Addie's condition rapidly deteriorates, Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) and his team begin to think that she may be dying. House then figures out that Addie is suffering from depression and has tried to kill herself by swallowing drain cleaner. House tells Addie and her parents that depression is very common and that therapy and medication may be just what she needs to help make her happy. Meanwhile, House figures out that his boss and good friend Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) has been taking medication for his depression and hadn’t told him about it.

Writer: Pamela Davis
: Paul Attanasio, Peter Blake, Leonard Dick, Doris Egan,
Liz Friedman, Russel Friend, Steven Heth, Katie Jacobs, Marcy G. Kaplan,
Lawrence Kaplow, Garrett Lerner, Thomas L. Moran, Allen Marshall Palmer,
Daniel Sackheim, David Shore, Bryan Singer, Gerrit van der Meer

(Season 2, Episode 3: Whipped Doggie)

Upon returning from Tijuana, Dr. Craig "Huff" Huffstodt (Hank Azaria) tries to help his brother Teddy Huffstodt (Andy Comeau) find an assisted living facility. When Huff and Teddy can’t agree on a mutually acceptable facility, they meet with Huff’s longtime friend and attorney Russell Tupper (Oliver Platt) to develop and sign an agreement that incorporates both Huff’s and Teddy’s expectations for the facility as well as Teddy’s new parameters for visitation. Even though Huff is less than pleased with Teddy’s facility choice and his new visitation parameters, he agrees to fully support him. Teddy shares a moving moment with Huff’s son, Byrd Huffstodt (Anton Yelchin), where he describes when he first experienced schizophrenia as a 20-year-old college student.

Writer: Byron Balasco
Producers: Hank Azaria, Byron Balasco, Daugherty Chase, Zoila A. Galeano, Cameron Jones, Bob Lowry, Jessica Mecklenberg, Nicole Mirante, Mike Newell, Mark Richard, Nancy Sanders, Lori-Etta Taub, Scott Winant

(Season 5, Episode 12: Mr. Monk Is at Your Service)

Upset when a hiring freeze at the police department is announced, Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) is pressured by his assistant Natalie Teeger (Traylor Howard) to investigate the deaths of her parents' wealthy neighbors. Monk, who is forced to go undercover as the butler to try and solve the crime, begins to uncover clues that lead to the spoiled, greedy, young billionaire son as the murderer. As Monk starts considering his undercover role as a viable career alternative, his boss Captain Leland Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) put his job on the line to make sure that Monk is exempt from the hiring freeze and able to return to the force when he is ready.

Writer: Rob LaZebnik
Producers: Andy Breckman, David Breckman, Jonathan Collier, Scott Collins,
Hy Conrad, Anthony Santa Croce, Dan Dratch, Fern Field, David Hoberman,
Erik Lee, Douglas Nabors, Tom Scharpling, Tony Shalhoub, Shana Stein,
Sheridan Thayer, Joe Toplyn, Randy Zisk

(Season 6, Episode 19: The Second Coming)

Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) realizes that his son Anthony 'A.J.' Soprano, Jr. (Robert Iler), who has been sleeping a lot and can't seem to shake the despair he feels, is still in a bad way. Crying and awash in depression, A.J. decides to commit suicide by putting a plastic bag on his head, tying a cinderblock around his ankle, and diving into the family pool. However, he changes his mind, struggles to the surface, and desperately clings to the diving board. As he treads water and calls for help, Tony arrives home and jumps in the pool to save him. With A.J. in an institution, Tony has trouble shaking his own depression. Angry and unsure how to deal with A.J.’s situation, Tony looks to his crew for answers. What ensues is a discussion about mental health—particularly as it has affected young people related to or known to the characters.

Writer: Terence Winter
Producers: Henry J. Bronchtein, Martin Bruestle, David Chase, Diane Frolov, Brad Grey, Ilene S. Landress, Jason L. Minter, Mickie Reuster, Andrew Schneider, Gianna Maria Smart, Matthew Weiner, Terence Winter

Feature Films

10-year old Chris Marino (Devon Gearhart) just wants to be like other kids, but his mother Mary Marino’s (Marcia Gay Harden) bouts of paranoia and delusion make that challenging for him. His dad, John Marino (Joe Pantoliano), a construction worker, struggles to cover Mary’s doctor bills and find the right medicine to treat her schizophrenia, which leaves little time or energy to give to his son. When Mary’s behavior takes a turn for the worse, father and son watch helplessly as she is hospitalized. Unable to face his wife’s illness or console his son, John quits his job and works compulsively day and night to build a sailboat. Ridiculed at school and feeling abandoned, Chris begins to act out and makes plans to move in with an aunt in Alaska. After a dramatic confrontation, father and son decide to complete the boat together. In the end, they are able to come to terms with Mary’s illness, and fulfill a special promise made long ago.

Writer: Joseph Greco
Producers: Bruce Beresford, Bill Erfurth, Adam Hammel, Lucy Hammel, George Hickenlooper, Sharon Lane, Eddie Mordujovich, Caroline O’Brien, Joe Pantoliano, Alan H. Rolnick

Home of the Brave
"Home of the Brave" tells the story of four American soldiers nearing the end of their tours of duty in Iraq. Shortly after learning their unit will soon return home, they are sent on one final humanitarian mission and the unit is ambushed. With many lives lost, the surviving troops suffer both physical and psychological injuries. Now, as they return to the United States, the four soldiers, Will Marsh (Samuel L. Jackson), Tommy Yates (Brian Presley), Vanessa Price (Jessica Biel), and Jamal Aiken (Curtis Jackson—50 Cent), must face memories of the past as they look toward the future and return to civilian life.

Writers: Mark Friedman, Irwin Winkler
Producers: Rob Cowan, Boaz Davidson, Danny Dimbort, Randall Emmett, Michael P. Flannigan, George Furla, Avi Lerner, Julie Milstead, Trevor Short, John Thompson, Charles Winkler, Irwin Winkler

Reign Over Me
In "Reign Over Me," former college roommates Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler) and Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle) meet up again by chance on a Manhattan street corner. Five years after losing his family on 9/11, Charlie—once a successful dentist—has retreated from his life, and Alan is stunned to see the changes in his formerly gregarious friend. At the same time, Alan—who should be enjoying his beautiful wife, children and career—is overwhelmed by his responsibilities. Their rekindled relationship becomes a lifeline for the two men, who are both in need of a trusted friend at this pivotal moment in their lives.

Writer: Mike Binder
Producers: Jack Binder, Jack Giarraputo, Michael Rotenberg, Lynwood Spinks, Jeff Waxman, Rachel Zimmerman


Cracking Up
The documentary "Cracking Up" raises the question: when it comes to mental illness, is laughter the best medicine? It depicts "a year in the life" of 11 individuals who opted to participate in counselor and comedian David Granirer's Stand Up for Mental Health program in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The program, which is now being offered in other parts of the province, as well as in Ontario, is intended to help individuals diagnosed with mental illness increase their self-esteem and fight some of the stigma that exists in society. Granirer's approach uses laughter as therapy and he coaches participants to face their illness through the use of standup comedy. The film depicts each of the comics' journeys from their first stab at standup in a classroom setting to their sold-out finale show.

Writer: Tara Shortt
Producers: Todd Craddock, Lionel Goddard, Tara Shortt

Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive
This two-part documentary features comedian, actor, author, and filmmaker Stephen Fry, who interviews celebrities including Robbie Williams, Carrie Fisher, and Richard Dreyfuss, as well as members of the public, who talk frankly about the impact that manic depression—or bipolar disorder—has had on their lives, the stigma attached to it, and how they got help. During the two programs, Stephen talks in detail about his own experiences with bipolar disorder. He recounts his suicide attempt after walking out of the West End play "Cellmates" in 1995, and the continuing severe mood swings he has to endure. He also meets ordinary people and their families coping with the condition and talks to them about some of the possible triggers. They all speak candidly about how bipolar disorder has affected their day-to-day lives.

Producers: Alan Clements, Lindsey Douglas, Dr. Tony Hughes, Andrea Miller, Charlotte Moore, Jeremy Thomas, Ross Wilson

Through My Eyes
"Through My Eyes" is a documentary film produced by Emmy Award-winner Linda Midgett. It is a half-hour program intended to educate teens about mental health issues. "Through My Eyes" features Mecklenburg County, North Carolina teens and their families sharing their own emotional and mental health challenges, and how they are able to draw on their successes to overcome these challenges. The film also aims to reduce stigma, raise awareness, and improve community-wide support for youth who struggle with challenges such as anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, ADD, and ADHD.

Producers: Linda Midgett

True Life
(Season 8, Episode 15: I Have Autism)
, (Season 9, Episode 7: I Have Tourette's Syndrome)
On “True Life—I Have Autism” we meet three young people who are doing everything they can to battle their autism and live life to the fullest. Jeremy has autism and is about to turn 18 years old. He is trying to find his voice so that he can make some friends his own age. Jonathan is an artistic savant whose autism causes him to have anger fits several times a day. He visits a doctor to help him with his rages. Elijah has Asperger's Syndrome, a highly functional form of autism. He learned to communicate through his love of comedy.

And on “True Life—I Have Tourette's” we meet three young individuals whose Tourette's greatly affects their lives. Lou has dealt with Tourette's for most of his life. For years, he has taken medication to improve his uncontrollable tics and twitching, but eventually opted to quit the meds when they caused him to gain excessive amounts of weight. Alyssa suffers from a severe case of Tourette's that causes her to flail her body uncontrollably and shout both words and inaudible shrieks randomly. She has an otherwise great personality and plenty of friends, but when frustrated, she often lashes out. Being a professional motocross biker takes courage, agility, and steady moves, but Jeremy can't always keep steady because of his battle with Tourette's. While he still manages to be a successful competitor, he and his fiancée are concerned that he might lose his grip in the middle of a trick.

Producers: Dana Berchman, Amelia D'Entrone, Craig D'Entrone, Marshall Eisen, Betsy Forhan, Jeff Schneider, Dave Sirulnick, Leigh Stieglitz

Lifetime Achievement Award

Larry Fricks

Consumer Leadership Awards

Joan Esnayra

Sharon Wise

Paula Comunelli

Herminio Maldonado

Marley Prunty-Lara

Young Adult Leadership Award

Marvin Alexander

SAMHSA Special Recognition Award

Howie Mandel

Honorable Mentions

Television Shows

  • Army Wives (Season 1, Episode 5—Independence Day)
  • Huff (Season 2, Episode 10—Bethless)
  • Law & Order: SVU (Season 7, Episode 22—Influence)
  • Monk (Season 5, Episode 9—Mr. Monk Meets His Dad)
  • Scrubs (Season 6, Episode 4—My House), (Season 6, Episode 5—
    My Friend With Money)

Feature Films

  • Snow Cake
  • The Flying Scotsman


  • A Place of Our Own (Episode 3119—ADD & ADHD), (Episode 3122—
    Postpartum Depression)
  • Clubhouse Works
  • Did You Know?
  • Eternal High
  • Healthy Minds
  • Not in My Family
  • NOW (Episode—Veterans of PTSD)
  • The Legacy of Coach Charley Pell
  • The Pain of Depression: A Journey Through the Darkness

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