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SAMHSA to recognize behavioral health champions at 2017 Voice Awards

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Senator Elizabeth Dole and Carrie Fisher to be honored

Tonight at the 2017 Voice Awards, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will give Special Recognition Awards to former United States Senator Elizabeth Dole and the late actor Carrie Fisher. Senator Dole will be honored for addressing the mental health and addiction challenges faced by our military and veteran communities. Fisher will be honored for raising awareness and understanding of behavioral health issues and encouraging others to seek help.

Chef Robert Irvine will host tonight’s event as SAMHSA recognizes community leaders, screenwriters and producers for their efforts to educate the public about mental illness and addiction. The awards promote the positive journey of recovery from these conditions.

This year’s theme is Honoring Those Who Serve: Hope, Resilience and Recovery. “Military and veteran communities deserve access to high-quality health services and SAMHSA is proud to help make that happen,” said Kana Enomoto, SAMHSA Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary. “Through sharing stories of courageous military families, we inspire others to practice prevention, seek treatment, or support a loved one in recovery from a mental illness or an addiction.”

SAMHSA will present awards to an extraordinary group of community leaders and entertainment productions. Community-based consumer, peer and family leader honorees include Kevin Briggs, Tom Cruz, General Arthur T. Dean, Major General (Ret.) Mark Graham and Carol Graham, Kristina Kaufmann, Montavious McKinney and Jodi Savits.

Entertainment production honorees include creators of the television shows Chris Gethard: Career Suicide, Jane the Virgin, The Warfighters, One Day at a Time, This Is Us; and the films Captain Fantastic, Megan Leavey, Almost Sunrise, Iron Will and The S Word.

The 2017 Voice Awards program will be streamed live tonight beginning at 9:15 p.m. ET at

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Reporters with questions should send inquiries to

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to lead public health and service delivery efforts that promote mental health, prevent substance misuse, and provide treatments and supports to foster recovery while ensuring equitable access and better outcomes.

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