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2009 Media

Media Advisory

Date: October 6, 2009
Media Contact: Crystal Borde or SAMHSA Press Office
Phone: (202) 331-4323, (240) 276-2134


SAMHSA to recognize Hollywood and mental health consumer advocate contributions that promote understanding and support for individuals with mental health issues

Award-winning actors, writers and producers will join Academy Award-winning actor and host Richard Dreyfuss at the 2009 Voice Awards on Wednesday, October 14, at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, CA. Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the event will include a red carpet arrival prior to an awards ceremony honoring writers and producers who have given a voice to people with mental health issues by incorporating dignified, respectful, and accurate portrayals of these individuals into film and television productions. The event will celebrate award-winners among nominees that include The Soloist, Michael Clayton, Lars and the Real Girl, “90210,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Law & Order: SVU.”

The Voice Awards also will showcase the stories and achievements of mental health consumer leaders who are working to promote social inclusion of individuals with mental health issues, as well as offer hope for the real possibility of recovery. Mary Ellen Copeland of West Dummerston, Vt., will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for her leadership and contributions to the mental health recovery movement. Consumer Leadership Awards will be bestowed on five mental health advocates and community leaders—Eric Arauz, North Brunswick, N.J.; Marian Bacon, Memphis, Tenn.; Mark Davis, Philadelphia, Pa.; John Kevin Hines, San Francisco, Calif.; and Ann Kirkwood, Boise, Idaho. The Young Adult Leadership Award will go to Tyrus “T.J.” Curtis of Brooklyn, N.Y. Former U.S. Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon and Mrs. Sharon Smith—whose 21-year old son Garrett died by suicide—will receive SAMHSA’s Spotlight Award for heightening awareness about the prevention of suicide.


Richard Dreyfuss, Jaws, Mr. Holland’s Opus
Diablo Cody, United States of Tara, Juno
John Corbett, United States of Tara
Jessica Stroup, 90210
Patricia Heaton, Front of the Class
Ice T, Law and Order: SVU
Aasha Davis, Friday Night Lights
Ed Begley, Jr., Gary Unmarried
Mariette Hartley, Law & Order: SVU
Neal Baer, M.D., Law & Order: SVU, ER
Ruta Lee, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

WHAT: 2009 Voice Awards—www.voiceawards.samhsa.gov

WHEN: Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Red Carpet Arrival—6:00 p.m., PDT
Awards Ceremony—7:00 p.m., PDT
After-Party Event—9:00 p.m., PDT

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

VISUAL: Pre-event red carpet photo opportunities

To attend the event or request an interview, contact Crystal Borde at 202–331–4323.

SAMHSA is a public health agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The agency is responsible for improving the accountability, capacity, and effectiveness of the Nation’s substance abuse prevention, addictions treatment, and mental health service delivery systems.

The Voice Awards are part of the Campaign for Mental Health Recovery, a multi-year public service advertising program of SAMHSA and the Ad Council to promote understanding and support for young adults and others with mental illnesses.

2009 Voice Awards Program Partners

  • The Advertising Council
  • Alliance Healthcare Foundation
  • American Counseling Association
  • American Psychiatric Foundation
  • American Psychological Association
  • Mental Health America
  • Mental Health Media Partnership
  • NAMI
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors
  • RTI International
  • Writers Guild of America, West

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