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SAMHSA Advisory

Date: 8/7/2012 9:00 AM
Media Contact: SAMHSA Press Office
Telephone: 240-276-2130

SAMHSA to honor Metta World Peace and Shonda Rhimes

National program will recognize community, sports, TV, and film industry leaders who raise awareness about recovery and promote understanding of mental health and substance use disorders

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will honor Metta World Peace of the Los Angeles Lakers with a Special Recognition Award at the 2012 Voice Awards for his work to raise awareness about mental health issues and for his financial support of
charities that provide mental health awareness and treatment services for children . In addition, SAMHSA will recognize screenwriter and producer Shonda Rhimes with a Career Achievement Award for her ongoing efforts to educate television audiences about the real experiences of people with behavioral health problems and those impacted by trauma.

The event will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012, at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, Calif. Since 2005, the Voice Awards has brought together representatives from the entertainment industry and the behavioral health community for an evening of educational awareness building about mental health and substance use disorders and the power of recovery. This year, SAMHSA will highlight stories of mental illness and substance abuse, as well as the behavioral health challenges of athletes, including their resilience and paths to recovery.

The awards program recognizes the achievements of consumer/peer leaders who are sharing their stories of recovery and working to promote the social inclusion of people with behavioral health problems throughout the Nation. William (Bill) White of Bloomington–Normal, Ill., will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for his leadership, research, and advocacy to promote recovery from addictions. Consumer/Peer Leadership Awards will be presented to behavioral health advocates and community leaders Henry Acosta, Plainsboro, N.J., and Shery Mead, Plainfield, N.H., as well as advocates and athletes Chris Herren, Portsmouth, R.I.; Chamique Holdsclaw, Atlanta, Ga.; and Brandon Marshall, Chicago, Ill. The Young Adult Leadership Award will be presented to Brittany Holt of Greensboro, N.C.

The Voice Awards also honors writers and producers who incorporate dignified, respectful, and accurate portrayals of people with behavioral health challenges into film and television productions. Finalists include “Take Shelter” (Sony); “Castle” (ABC); “Glee” (FOX); “Homeland” (Showtime); “Necessary Roughness” (USA); “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (NBC); and “Parenthood” (NBC).

WHAT:                                 2012 Voice Awards— 

WHEN:                                 Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012

                                             Partner-Sponsored Meet and Greet—6 p.m., PDT

                                             Awards Ceremony—7 p.m., PDT

WHERE:                                Paramount Theater at Paramount Studios, 5555 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, CA

VISUAL:                               Award winner, host, and presenter photo opportunities

To attend the event or request an interview, please contact Scott Rieder at 202–248–5476 (office) or 301-461-5482 (cell).

For more information about the Voice Awards and to view the list of collaborating organizations, visit To join the conversation about the Voice Awards, like SAMHSA on Facebook at and follow @samhsagov and #VoiceAwards on Twitter.

SAMHSA is a public health agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. Its mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.

Last updated: 8/7/2012 7:29 AM

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