For the first time ever, the federal government will recognize film, TV and radio writers and producers who create positive, accurate and dignified portrayals of people with mental health problems. The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will hold the
2005 Voice Awards, for which writers and producers of more than 50 productions, including "The Aviator," "ER," "Monk," "Scrubs" and "Huff," were nominated. At this year's Voice Awards ceremony, held in Los Angeles, the writers and producers of 10 of these productions will be honored.
In addition, Emmy Award winning actor Maurice Benard and Spanish-language television network Univision are slated to be honored by the federal government for their activities on behalf of mental health awareness. Actress Brooke Shields will also be honored in absentia. Writer/producer Neal Baer will receive a special Career Achievement Award at the gala awards ceremony hosted by Mariette Hartley and Kathleen Sullivan. The Voice Awards will also recognize the efforts of mental health advocates across the country to raise awareness of mental health and expand public understanding that mental health problems exist in every community and affect almost every family in the United States.
Maurice Benard, Sonny Corinthos on "General Hospital"
Brooke Shields, actress and author (in absentia) Univision, Spanish language television network
Neal Baer, executive producer of "Law & Order: SVU" and former executive producer of "ER"
NOTE: For more information about the Voice Awards, please visit http://www.allmentalhealth.samhsa.gov/voiceawards.