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2011 Media

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 24, 2011, 6 p.m. EDT
CONTACT: Matt Forke, 202–248–5484 (office); 202-341-8973 (cell), mforke@vancomm.com (email)
SAMHSA Press Office, 240–276–2134

SAMHSA HIGHLIGHTS HEALING AND RECOVERY FROM TRAUMA AT 2011 VOICE AWARDS HOSTED BY EMMY-NOMINATED PETER KRAUSE
Federal national award program recognizes Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ aide Ron Barber, Tucson Mayor Robert Walkup and his wife Beth, TV and film screenwriters and producers, and community leaders for awareness and advocacy to promote behavioral health

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—Today, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) pays tribute to Ron Barber, district director for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and survivor of the January 8 Tucson, Ariz. shooting, with a Special Recognition Award at the 2011 Voice Awards. Barber, Tucson Mayor Robert E. Walkup, and his wife Beth are being honored for promoting civility and public understanding of mental health issues, as well as their ongoing efforts to help Tucson and the Nation heal from trauma.

The event—hosted by Emmy and Golden Globe nominee and NBC’s “Parenthood” star Peter Krause—will take place at Paramount Studios and will celebrate Voice Award-winning individuals, community leaders in recovery for mental and substance use disorders, and entertainment industry productions. Now in its sixth year, the Voice Awards convenes representatives from the entertainment industry and the behavioral health community for an evening of education and awareness about the societal contributions of people living with behavioral health problems. SAMHSA, the event sponsor, will be represented by Center for Substance Abuse Treatment Director H. Westley Clark, M.D., M.P.H.

This year, SAMHSA is emphasizing awareness about the impact of trauma and the significant effects it can have on individuals, families and friends, and communities across the country. The event will be live Webcast at www.samsha.gov/voiceawards starting at 6:15 p.m. PDT, and awards will be given to consumer/peer leaders who have successfully advocated for the rights of trauma survivors and promoted the importance of trauma-informed care, as well as the writers and producers of entertainment programming that highlights stories of resilience, courage, and recovery.

“SAMHSA is pleased to recognize leaders in the entertainment industry for featuring the strength, bravery, and resilience of people living with mental and substance use disorders. The remarkable productions we honor tonight are credited with helping advance the public’s understanding of mental and substance use disorders, and ultimately, increase social inclusion that enables individuals to fully participate in their communities,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde,. “SAMHSA is particularly grateful to Ron Barber, the Walkups, and all of the consumer/peer leaders being honored at the 2011 Voice Awards. Their stories of resilience and selfless leadership are critical to helping others find their path to recovery and wellness.”

The 2011 Voice Awards entertainment winners are:

Television Category

  • “Glee” (FOX) for a storyline addressing obsessive-compulsive disorder, social inclusion, and peer support;
  • “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC) for a storyline addressing post-traumatic stress disorder and recovery from trauma;
  • “Harry’s Law” (NBC) for the episode “Wheels of Justice” addressing trauma and resilience;
  • “Mad Men” (AMC) for a storyline addressing children’s behavioral health problems and recovery;
  • “Parenthood” (NBC) for a series of episodes addressing Asperger’s syndrome and family support;
  • “Private Practice” (ABC) for a storyline addressing healing, resilience, and recovery from trauma;
  • “The Pacific” (HBO) for a series of episodes addressing post-traumatic stress disorder and the wounds of war; and
  • “Treme” (HBO) for a series of episodes addressing trauma from Hurricane Katrina, resilience, and hope.

Film Category

  • “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” for addressing behavioral health problems and peer support;
  • “The Beaver” for addressing major depression and the journey of recovery;
  • “The Fighter” for addressing substance use, addiction, and family support; and
  • “The King’s Speech” for addressing trauma, resilience, and peer support.

    Documentary Category

  • “Dad’s In Heaven With Nixon” for addressing bipolar disorder, autism, and family support;
  • “If God is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise” (HBO) for addressing trauma, resilience, and healing.
  • “Lost Angels” for addressing homelessness, mental and substance use disorders, and hope;
  • “Wartorn 1861-2010” (HBO) for addressing post-traumatic stress disorder and the impact of war.

SAMHSA’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Jacki McKinney, M.S.W., from Philadelphia, Pa., for her leadership and advocacy on behalf of trauma survivors. Ms. McKinney is a survivor of early childhood abuse who experienced co-occurring mental and substance use disorders, homelessness, and interactions with the criminal justice system. For 21 years, she has been a vital force in the consumer/peer support movement, particularly for people of color and women. Jacki has been referred to as the “co-founder of trauma awareness in America.”

The Voice Awards will present Consumer/Peer Leadership Awards to Tonier Cain, Baltimore, Md.; Athena Haddon, Worcester, Mass.; Luis Carlos Montalván, New York, N.Y.; Heidi Kraft, San Diego, Calif.; and Pat Risser, Ashland, Ohio. Amanda Gregory of Orland, Calif. will receive the Young Adult Leadership Award. These individuals will be honored for sharing their stories and working to promote community acceptance and the social inclusion of individuals with mental and substance use disorders. Through their exemplary leadership and advocacy, they demonstrate that recovery is real and that individuals with behavioral health problems are valuable, contributing members of their schools, workplaces, and communities.

The Voice Awards are a collaborative effort among the entertainment industry and the behavioral health community including the Ad Council; American Academy of Physician Assistants; American Counseling Association; American Psychiatric Foundation; American Psychiatric Nurses Association; American Psychological Association; The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors; The Creative Coalition; Mental Health America; Mental Health Media Partnership; National Alliance on Mental Illness; National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Directors; National Association of Social Workers; National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors; National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare; Project Return Peer Support Network; RTI International; Talk Therapy TV; and the Writers Guild of America West. For more information about the organizations involved in this effort, visit http://www.voiceawards.samhsa.gov.

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

Suggested Twitter Messages about the Voice Awards:

  • 2011 #VoiceAwards honors #trauma survivors, advocates and #TV and #film that highlight resilience & recovery http://bit.ly/dgMYhD
  • Watch #VoiceAwards honor @Rep-Giffords aide Ron Barber, Tucson Mayor Walkup & wife; Live Webcast at 6:15pm PDT http://1.usa.gov/q9QD34
  • Watch Peter Krause from @nbcparenthood host the #VoiceAwards tonight in LA; Live Webcast starts at 6:15pm PDT http://1.usa.gov/q9QD34

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