Meet the 2014 and earlier Voice Award winners whose work and personal stories of resilience are educating the public about behavioral health.
2014 Award Winners
- Lifetime Achievement
- Consumer/Peer Leadership
- Young Adult Leadership
- SAMHSA Special Recognition
- Career Achievement
- Honorable Mention
Jean Campbell, Ph.D.
Long before the Americans with Disabilities Act, Dr. Jean Campbell identified as having a mental illness. She dedicated her career to bringing a human face to the needs and aspirations of mental health consumers. She is well-known for The Well-Being Project (1989) research study and the award-winning documentary, “People Say I’m Crazy.”
This year, Ms. Campbell retired as a research professor in mental health at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. As a mental health consumer, researcher, speaker, mentor, and director of the university’s Program in Consumer Studies and Training, she has advanced the understanding of consumer issues and promoted the use of choice in the delivery of mental health services.
She helped establish peer-run programs as an evidence-based practice to promote a recovery-based mental health system. Eventually, she became principal investigator of the largest, most rigorous study of peer-run programs.
Ms. Campbell was also senior advisor to the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. She contributed to Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General and served on the National Alliance on Mental Illness Scientific Council. She has worked with mental health agencies in 13 states on performance measurement systems, most recently to evaluate consumer-operated service programs for evidence-based practices in Missouri, an effort that she is continuing nationwide.
Ms. Campbell served on the SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services’ (CMHS) National Advisory Council’s Subcommittee on Consumer/Survivor Issues and is on the National Consumer Advisory Board for OptumHealth and SAMHSA’s Advisory Council for Women’s Services.
Lacy Kendrick Burk
Lacy Kendrick Burk, M.S., M.B.A., is the executive director of Youth M.O.V.E. (Motivating Others through Voices of Experience) National, a youth-led, nonprofit organization that advocates for and supports the youth voice through a network of 77 chapters of nearly 9,000 young people across 39 states. She leads several innovative youth-led programs and sets standards for youth engagement practice.
Ms. Burk had to overcome many challenges, including abuse, multiple mental health diagnoses, suicidal ideation, and trauma responses before finding her way to mental health recovery. When she was 15 years old, Ms. Burk and her five younger siblings were placed in foster care. After learning her voice could make a difference for herself and her siblings, she began using it to help other foster youth. She was adopted at age 28 by her long-time foster parents, who received the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s Angels in Adoption Award in 2013.
At only 30, Ms. Burk has her own consulting business and has established herself as an international speaker, consultant, author, and a director on the boards of national and international organizations. She was appointed to the SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services’ (CMHS) National Advisory Council in 2012 by former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, interned for U.S. Senator John Kerry, and has testified in state and federal congressional hearings. Her story has reached tens of thousands of people from nearly 20 countries.
Ms. Burk continues to advocate for positive changes for youth by sharing her story. Through coaching and mentoring other young people, she inspires them to do the same.
Matt Canuteson is a nationally known expert in behavioral health services for children, young adults, and adults. He uses his personal experiences with foster care, adoption, substance misuse, and mental health challenges to improve service systems at the local, state, and national levels.
After starting his own recovery journey from behavioral health issues, Mr. Canuteson became the first youth coordinator for Families Together in New York State’s Center for Mental Health Services Systems of Care Grant. Here, he promoted the inclusion of the youth perspective in local system development and delivery.
Later, as a policy specialist at the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, Mr. Canuteson participated in successful advocacy campaigns to advance and protect funding on behalf of New York’s adult home residents and state prisoners with psychiatric disabilities.
In 2009, Mr. Canuteson helped write and advocate for legislation that advanced funding and authorization for peer-to-peer crisis respite programs across New York state. Most recently he served as assistant center director for the Statewide Family and Consumer Networks Technical Assistance Center at Policy Research Associates. Here he coordinated the center’s daily operations and served as its primary technical assistance coordinator.
Mr. Canuteson is married and has two sons.
Greg Dicharry is the national youth empowerment director at Magellan Health. He developed the program MY LIFE (Magellan Youth Leaders Inspiring Future Empowerment)—one of the nation’s leading youth empowerment programs for youth who experience mental health, substance use, or foster care-related challenges.
Mr. Dicharry oversees 12 MY LIFE groups nationally, with more than 500 youth involved. He plans and produces MY Fest youth festivals and other community events to reduce discrimination and raise awareness about mental health and other issues. MY LIFE events have attracted nearly 50,000 attendees and reached thousands more via the MY LIFE videos he created, social media outreach, and news coverage from FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC, Cox, Comcast TV affiliates, and major radio networks.
Mr. Dicharry experienced his first manic episode while directing a music video. He was hospitalized and diagnosed with co-occurring bipolar and substance use disorders. He spent the next 10 years in and out of recovery, including more than 10 forced hospitalizations, a one-month stay in a prison psychiatric unit, two stays in drug rehabilitation, and many hopeless depressive states.
Mr. Dicharry is dedicated to continuing to use his personal experience and passion for producing entertainment to inspire youth while providing them with opportunities to show the world how bright they can shine.
Patrick Hendry is considered one of the nation’s leading experts on organizational development, management, and sustainability for peer organizations, self-directed care, recovery-based trainings, and peer-run programs.
Mr. Hendry was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which led to significant personal loss, homelessness, and hospitalization. He strongly supports the inclusion of mental health consumers in all aspects of the mental health system.
He is the senior director of consumer advocacy for Mental Health America (MHA). From 2009 to 2011, Mr. Hendry directed the National Consumer Supporter Technical Assistance Center, one of the SAMHSA-funded national technical assistance centers.
Prior to his work at MHA, Mr. Hendry worked as a mental health advocate in Florida. In 1992, he co-founded the first peer-run organization in Florida to contract directly with the state for the provision of services. In 2003, Mr. Hendry helped rebuild the Florida Self-Directed Care program, which gives people a choice in their clinical service providers and an opportunity for recovery supports. He then served as the program’s Southwest coordinator and state spokesperson.
Mr. Hendry also served as the director of consumer affairs for the Department of Children and Families, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Program Office for Southwest Florida, where he coordinated the Florida system of care program. In 2006, Mr. Hendry became the executive director of the Florida Peer Network, where he helped expand its membership.
Toni Jordan is an advocate for women, substance use disorders, and recovery through her work as a peer evaluator for the Missouri Department of Mental Health Consumer Operated Service Programs and as a Missouri Peer Recovery Support Specialist and Certified Missouri Peer Specialist trainer.
Her passion for this work stems from personal experiences, including 15 years of substance use and homelessness. During her time of active substance use, she lost custody of a child, and entered prison in 2004. While there, Ms. Jordan began her recovery—attending parenting classes, Gateway (drug treatment), and religious services.
In 2006, she sought drug treatment and eventually became employed by the Queen of Peace Center (QOPC) in St. Louis, Missouri—a family-centered behavioral health care provider for women with substance use disorders, as well as their children and families. As a peer specialist at QOPC, she began a support group for pregnant women in recovery called “Victorious Women.” Today, she is the leader of the QOPC Consumer Advisory Board, which consists of 8-10 women in long-term recovery.
Today, she works with women, children, and families at the QOPC. She facilitates groups, gives peer support, provides resources, and shares her victorious story of hope to all. She is an active member of Let’s Start, a group that supports her life as a recovering woman, and a member of the Missouri Department of Mental Health State Advisory Council and the City of St. Louis Mental Health Board Transformation Steering Committee.
Young Adult Leadership
Sean Campbell is a filmmaker, international public speaker, and founder and director of the consulting firm and speaker’s bureau Campbell Outreach Group. At 25, he is a peer mentor to young adults at the Mental Health Association of Rockland County in New York state.
At age 15, Mr. Campbell demonstrated the power of early intervention and participated in psychotherapy for behavioral health challenges, including trauma, depression, and mood instability. At 19, he began speaking to high schools, universities, treatment programs, and community venues. He reached thousands of people with messages of wellness and the importance of seeking treatment and supports.
Through Campbell Outreach Group, Mr. Campbell represents other health and wellness speakers who share their experiences with mental health and substance use conditions and issues related to body image, substance misuse, and recovery. His firm also consults on behalf of the Bergen County (New Jersey) Department of Health Services, and he is a lead consultant in developing a whole‐body wellness initiative for the county.
Mr. Campbell helped launch a recovery center while serving as a peer specialist at Rockland Independent Living Center in New York. While there, he co-produced and wrote the SAMHSA-funded documentary, “Heart and Soul: A Film Promoting Whole Body Wellness in Behavioral Health” (2013). Sean also co-wrote, “How to Touch a Hot Stove: Thought and Behavioral Differences in a Society of Norms” (2014).
The New Jersey Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma recognized Mr. Campbell with a 2010 Ambassador Award. More recently, in June 2014, the National Alliance on Mental Illness FAMILYA of Rockland County presented him with a Leader of Tomorrow Award.
Frankie & Alice
Set in the early 1970s in Los Angeles, “Frankie & Alice” is inspired by the true story of an African-American go-go dancer, Frankie (Halle Berry), who struggles to recover from dissociative identity disorder.
When Frankie learns that she has two identities—a 7-year-old named Genius and a racist woman named Alice—she works with a psychotherapist (Stellan Skarsgård) to uncover and overcome the trauma that haunts her and find a path to recovery.
Writers: Cheryl Edwards, Philip Goldberg, Oscar Janiger, Marko King, Mary King, Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse, Jonathan Watters
Producers: Halle Berry, Vince Cirrincione, Simon DeKaric, Brendan Ferguson, Abhi Rastogi, John Roy, Shawn Williamson, Hassain Zaidi
“Home” is the story of Jack Hall (Gbenga Akinnagbe), a man living with a mental illness who wants to rebuild his life, move out of his group home, and live independently.
When Jack’s plan hits obstacles, however, he finds himself without enough money to sustain his new housing arrangement. Afraid his illness will prevent him from securing his new place, Jack turns to his tumultuous past for answers.
With no acceptable solutions in sight, Jack realizes that there will be no easy path to his recovery and that he must work harder at it.
Writers: Jono Oliver
Producers: Gbenga Akinnagbe, Daniela Barbosa, Eyde Belasco, Hezi Bezalel, Barry Cole, Ged Dickersin, Anastasia Folorunso, Re’Shaun Frear, Kimberly James, Ken H. Keller, Sharon Mahoney, JC Mendoza, Mario Escobar Morales, Eric Oliver, Jono Oliver, Vivian Oliver, Caron Rudner-Keller, Rebecca Stickland, Daniel Zisson
Short Term 12
In “Short Term 12,” 20-year-old Grace (Brie Larson) is the supervisor at a group home for troubled teenagers. Passionate, tough, and in love with her long-term boyfriend and co-worker, Mason (John Gallagher, Jr.), Grace is a formidable caretaker with a unique ability to connect with all of the kids in her charge.
However, Grace’s world is turned upside down when she becomes pregnant with Mason’s baby, finds out that her abusive father is about to get out of prison, and develops a charged connection with a new arrival at the facility who is dealing with many of the same traumatic experiences that Grace endured when she was younger.
Struggling to make sense of it all, Grace realizes that she must finally confront her past in order to move forward with her life and embrace her future with Mason.
Writers: Destin Daniel Cretton
Producers: Joshua Astrachan, Asher Goldstein, Frederick W. Green, M. Elizabeth Hughes, Amanda Johnson-Zetterstrom, David Kaplan, Nathan Kelly, Ron Najor, Maren Olson, Douglas Stone
The Spectacular Now
Based on the book by Tim Tharp, “The Spectacular Now” is the story of high school senior Sutter Keely (Miles Teller)—effortless charmer and self-proclaimed “life of the party.” Sutter has no plans for the future and is often found sipping from his whiskey-fortified cup.
When he falls for “nice girl” Aimee Fineky (Shailene Woodley), the unlikely romance becomes a sharp-eyed, straight-up snapshot of the struggles of a young man trying to cope with substance use issues, depression, and an absent father with his own substance use issues. While Aimee has dreams of a future, Sutter lives in the impressive delusion of a spectacular now, yet the two are drawn together.
After a long-awaited and disheartening meeting with his father and a shocking accident caused by Sutter’s drinking that places Aimee’s life in jeopardy, Sutter takes a hard look at his life and starts to make choices that change his future significantly.
Writers: Scott Neustadter, Tim Tharp, Michael H. Weber
Producers: Dan Cohen, Michelle Krumm, Andrew Lauren, Shawn Levy, Tom McNulty, Matthew Medlin, Scott Neustadter, Billy Rosenberg, Marc Shmuger, Katie Willard Troebs, Michael H. Weber
In season 2 of “Elementary,” a hedge fund manager is killed, and a former client of Dr. Watson’s (Lucy Liu) finds the body. Chloe Butler (Heather Burns)—a person in recovery from heroin misuse—refuses to allow Dr. Watson to reveal their relationship, complicating the investigation when Chloe’s former drug dealer becomes the main suspect.
Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) struggles with the attempts of his AA sponsor, Alfredo Llamosa (Ato Essandoh), to get him to sponsor an individual in recovery from substance use to lessen his guilt over the shooting of a fellow detective. Holmes soon has his hands full when his sponsee Randy’s (Stephen Tyrone Williams) girlfriend, who struggles with substance use, turns back up to live with Randy.
Writers: Robert Doherty, Liz Friedman, Andrew Gettens, Bob Goodman, Steve Gottfried, Christopher Hollier, Cathryn Humphris, Jeffrey Paul King, Lauren Mackenzie, Craig Sweeny, Jason Tracey, Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Producers: Carl Beverly, Alysse Bezahler, Melissa Black, Peter Blake, Corinne Brinkerhoff, Michael Cuesta, Robert Doherty, Jonathan Filley, Liz Friedman, Mark Goffman, Bob Goodman, Geoffrey Hemwall, Christopher Hollier, Cathryn Humphris, Chris Leanza, Kammie Mann, John Polson, Zachary Reiter, Christopher Silber, Craig Sweeny, Sarah Timberman, Jason Tracey, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, David Yoneshige
“Mike & Molly”
Mind Over Molly (Season 4, Episode 12)
In this episode of “Mike & Molly,” Mike (William “Billy” Gardell) suggests to his wife, Molly (Melissa McCarthy), that she see therapist Dr. Gayle Rosen (John Michael Higgins). During the first two therapy sessions, Molly deflects her issues onto other family members and is reluctant to share information when asked about her relationship with her deceased father. She walks out of the sessions, concluding that she does not need therapy.
However, hearing questions about her dad brings up feelings Molly had suppressed for years. When Molly returns to therapy, she decides to open up and talk about her feelings about her dad. For the first time, she is able to mourn her father’s death. Molly realizes that her unusual behavior is the result of finally having stability in her life through Mike, which had been missing since her father died.
Writers: Marla DuMont, Alan J. Higgins, Crystal Jenkins, Chuck Lorre, Mark Roberts, Aaron Vaccaro
Producers: Julie Bean, Bill Daly, Brian Keith Etheridge, Carla Filisha, Mona Garcea, Mark Gross, Tony Hicks, Alan J. Higgins, Grant Johnson, Chuck Lorre, Suzanne McCormack, Stephen Prime
Zombies and Cobb Salad (Season 1, Episode 9)
Bonnie (Allison Janney) struggles with substance use, and in this episode, begins drinking again. Her now-sober daughter Christy (Anna Faris) stages an intervention with Regina (Octavia Spencer) and Marjorie (Mimi Kennedy) from her mother’s Alcoholics Anonymous group.
Realizing that she is a constant test to Christy’s sobriety, Bonnie decides that she can no longer take the pain of disappointing her daughter by drinking. She vows to do everything she can to get—and stay—sober.
Writers: Nick Bakay, Gemma Baker, Eddie Gorodetsky, Chuck Lorre, Alissa Neubauer, Christine Zander
Producers: Nick Bakay, Gemma Baker, Eddie Gorodetsky, Julie Larson, Kelly-Anne Lee, Chuck Lorre, Suzanne McCormack, Alissa Neubauer, Mea Squires, Mea Ybarra, Christine Zandera
In season 2 of “Nashville,” Scarlett (Clare Bowen) experiences an onstage anxiety attack after her mother Beverly (Dana Wheeler-Nicholson) yells at her in front of her crew, triggering painful flashbacks of abuse. Surrounded by caring and supportive friends, including her employer and her uncle, Scarlett enters treatment and creates a healthier environment for herself.
Deacon (Charles “Chip” Esten) struggles with substance use, made worse by Scarlett’s breakdown and the challenges of becoming a father. After seeking out the support of AA, Deacon gains the courage to admit his faults and seek forgiveness.
Also in this series, Will (Chris Carmack) struggles with being identified as gay and pursues relationships
with women to keep up appearances. After beginning a secret relationship with a male co-worker, Will experiences suicidal thoughts and disappears. His friend and roommate Gunnar (Sam Palladio) finds him, stops him from hurting himself, and provides support and friendship through his crisis.
Writers: Tyler Bensinger, Mollie Bickley, Wendy Calhoun, Debra Fordham, Sibyl Gardner, David Gould, Dana Greenblatt, David Handelman, Dee Johnson, Callie Khouri, Meredith Lavender, Monica Macer, Ben St. John, Marcie Ulin
Producers: Tyler Bensinger, Connie Britton, Wendy Calhoun, Geoffrey Colo, R.J. Cutler, Debra Fordham, Peter Giuliano, David Gould, Dee Johnson, Callie Khouri, Monica Macer, Michael Waxman
Life Continued: Defeating Depression
“Life Continued: Defeating Depression” examines the lives of two college students from different parts of the country who fought their way through serious mental health struggles: Sarah Virginia and Devin. Both contemplated suicide, and Sarah Virginia actually attempted it.
Devin’s depression stems from his experience with racism and homophobia in his community. Growing up, he was the victim of extreme bullying and teasing for being gay and was forced to keep his sexuality hidden for most of his life.
Sarah Virginia’s depression, anorexia, and self-harm began at the age of 12. At 17, she hit her lowest point. After receiving medical help and counseling, she realized she had a second chance and began to share her story through her writing and music.
This documentary tells their stories—from their earliest indications that something was wrong to their decisions to work toward recovery.
Producers: Johnny Beechler, Madilyn Christensen, Maureen Hoban, Golriz Lucina, Shabnam Mogharabi, Sarah North, Bobby Pura, Rainn Wilson
The Anonymous People
More than 23 million Americans are living in long-term recovery from dependence on alcohol and other drugs.
“The Anonymous People” shows a new public recovery movement that is working to transform public opinion and shift problematic policy toward lasting recovery solutions. It examines how recovery advocates are starting to come out of decades of silence—often reinforced by negative social attitudes and discrimination—to tell their stories.
The documentary counters sensational mass media depictions of people in active substance use with a compelling look at how this treatable health condition plays out in real life. It also features leaders, volunteers, corporate executives, and celebrities giving up their anonymity to save the lives of others.
Writers: Aaron Cohen, Bud Mikhitarian, Jeff Reilly, Greg Williams
Producers: Susan Broderick, Paul McCulley, Bud Mikhitarian, Craig Mikhitarian, Jeff Reilly, John Silverman, Pat Taylor, Bill White, Greg Williams, Michelle Williams
SAMHSA Special Recognition
Emmy award-winning comedic actress Kristen Johnston is one of the featured participants in this year’s Voice Award-winning documentary “The Anonymous People.”
Best known for her role on NBC’s “3rd Rock from the Sun” and now on TV Land’s “The Exes,” Ms. Johnston’s 2012 memoir, Guts: The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster, revealed her misuse of drugs and alcohol, and bouts with depression and isolation.
“The depth with which addiction is misunderstood and misrepresented amazes me,” Ms. Johnston said in a 2013 article for The New York Times.
Ms. Johnston is committed to changing that. As founder and executive director of SLAM (Sober, Learning and Motivation), she is encouraging the establishment of the first sober high school in New York City. She also works with high school girls at self-esteem workshops and speaks at rehab centers and recovery events.
An American television writer, producer, and playwright, Jason Katims is best known as head screenwriter and executive producer of NBC’s “Parenthood” and “Friday Night Lights.” To SAMHSA and the consumer/peer community, he is a professional who gets behavioral health—and gets it right on screen. Confronting behavioral health challenges and conversations head-on is Mr. Katims’ signature style.
NBC’s “Friday Night Lights” (2006–2011) won a Voice Award in 2008 for a four-episode storyline about bipolar disorder. “Parenthood” explores many issues that are important to families and young adults, including behavioral health issues. The show is receiving an honorable mention this year. It won Voice Awards in 2010, 2011, and 2012, and received an honorable mention in 2013.
Mr. Katims has spoken openly about his teenage son with Asperger’s syndrome, whom he uses as an inspiration for the Max Braverman character on “Parenthood.”
“I’m proud that we’ve been able to tell stories that go on for very, very long arcs,” Mr. Katims said in a 2014 interview with the Los Angeles Times. “The Asperger’s story is not even an arc, it has just become part of the show. It’s one of the things that I think makes ‘Parenthood’ what it is.”
Mr. Katims’ other works as a writer and producer include the 2014 NBC series “About a Boy,” which deals with bullying and depression, as well as “Ellen More or Less” (producer, pre-production, 2014), “County” (writer and producer, 2012), and “The Vow” (writer, 2012).
- Cleaver’s Destiny
- Gimme Shelter
- Home Run
- Labor Day
- Saving Mr. Banks
- "Black Box”
Series (Season 1)
- “Call the Midwife”
Holiday Special (Season 3)
- “Chicago Fire”
Trauma Storyline (Season 2)
- “Grey’s Anatomy”
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Storyline (Season 10)
- “Nurse Jackie”
Substance Use Disorder Storyline (Season 5)
Series (Season 5)
Series (Season 2)
- “The Newsroom”
Trauma Storyline (Season 2)
- Brave Miss World
- Comedy Warriors: Healing Through Humor>
- Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
- Here One Day
- How to Touch a Hot Stove
- Make it OK: Parents & Mental Illness
- To Weave A Name (E Haku Inoa)