Wednesday August 13th - UCLA Royce Hall, Los Angeles

About the Voice Awards

The Voice Awards program honors consumer/peer leaders and television and film professionals who educate the public about behavioral health. Through their work and personal stories of resilience, both groups of leaders demonstrate that people with mental and/or substance use disorders can and do recover and lead meaningful lives.

The Voice Awards program honors consumer/peer leaders in recovery from mental and/or substance use disorders who play a vital role in raising awareness and understanding of behavioral health issues. These leaders are sharing their stories of resilience and recovery to reduce prejudice and discrimination associated with behavioral health conditions throughout the Nation.

The awards program also recognizes television and film writers and producers who give a voice to people with mental and/or substance use disorders by incorporating dignified, respectful, and accurate portrayals of these individuals into their scripts, programs, and productions. Through the work of these entertainment professionals, audiences can experience the stories of people with behavioral health challenges and embrace the hope and promise of recovery from these conditions.

Together, these two groups of leaders are demonstrating that people with mental and/or substance use disorders can, and do, recover and lead meaningful lives.

The Voice Awards program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services.

The awards program defines "consumer/peer leader" broadly as a person who has received or is receiving services for a mental health and/or substance use disorder.

Judging and Criteria

Consumer/Peer Leaders

Nominated consumer/peer leaders are evaluated based on their outstanding contributions in all of the following areas:

  • Personally demonstrated that recovery is real and possible
  • Led efforts to reduce the prejudice and discrimination associated with people with behavioral health conditions
  • Made a positive impact on communities, workplaces, or schools

All nominees are reviewed by a panel of judges that includes consumer/peer leaders in recovery from mental and/or substance use disorders, behavioral health advocates,representatives from HHS, and communication professionals.

Television and Film Professionals

Television and film production nominees are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Relative importance of the people with behavioral health conditions to the plot, subject matter, or storyline
  • Accurate representation of behavioral health information (conditions, symptoms)
  • Dignified and respectful depictions of people with behavioral health conditions
  • Portrayal of the concept of recovery from behavioral health conditions
  • Emphasis on contributions made by people with behavioral health conditions
  • Representations that reduce the prejudice and discrimination associated with behavioral health conditions

Nominated productions do not need to reflect every element to receive an award. However, the highest ratings are reserved for those productions that emphasize the positive journey of recovery from behavioral health conditions.

All nominees are reviewed by a panel of judges that includes entertainment industry professionals; television and film writers and producers; consumer/peer leaders in recovery from mental and/or substance use disorders; behavioral health advocates; representatives from HHS; and other Voice Awards program partners.

Last Updated: 11/06/2014