2013 Voice Awards Honor Unsung Heroes

Sep 26, 2013

The Rev. James Keller wrote, “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.”

Such is the spirit and purpose behind the Voice Awards, sponsored by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Now in its eighth year, the Voice Awards honor consumer and peer leaders who lead efforts to reduce discrimination, personally demonstrate that recovery is real and possible and make a positive impact on their community, workplace or school. Television and film production also receive recognition for dignified, respectful and accurate portrayals of mental illness.

The Voice Awards were presented on Sept. 25 at Paramount Studios in Hollywood.

The SAMHSA Special Recognition Award was given to retired U.S. Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli, chief executive officer of One Mind for Research, Inc. and former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island, author and lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. The honor is accorded those who work to reduce the discrimination and misperceptions associated with people with behavioral health problems, and increase access to behavioral health services and supports

The Career Achievement Award was bestowed on David O. Russell, screenwriter and director of Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter, for his efforts to educate film audiences about the real experiences of people with behavioral health problems.

Joseph Rogers of Philadelphia accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award for his leadership to advance the recovery movement. He is Chief Advocacy Officer of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania (MHASP), which includes an array of peer-to-peer programs serving local, statewide, and national constituencies.

Consumer/Peer Leadership Awards were presented to the following individuals for sharing their stories of recovery and working to improve public acceptance of people with behavioral health problems.

Lauren Grimes of Baltimore was presented with the Young Adult Leadership award. She is On Our Own of Maryland’s transitional age youth outreach coordinator, where she works for peer support and youth-led systems change on county, state and national levels. She aids organizations in incorporating the youth voice into their policy and operations and helps young adults create an equitable and reciprocal relationship with their service systems.

Honorees from the arts and entertainment industry were:

Television Productions

Documentary Productions

Film Productions

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text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).