It was an honor and a pleasure to attend the 2010 Voice Awards, hosted by SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. SAMHSA is the agency responsible for helping to get the word out about substance abuse and mental health issues, so their focus is much aligned with ours.
This year’s theme was focused on honoring portrayals of men and women who serve in the military but come home to grapple with mental health issues and friends and family who often just don’t understand how to help. It also featured a lifetime achievement award given to Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter for her decades’ long work on helping advance mental health care in the U.S.
The annual ceremony is held to honor the realistic and often-poignant depiction of people struggling with mental health issues on the big screen, in documentaries and on television. Actors Sandra Oh, Julia Ormond, America Ferrara, Brian McNamara and Peter Krause were among the many who attended and helped to present at this year’s event, which was co-hosted by Emmy Award-winning actor Hector Elizondo and Academy Award-winning actor Louis Gossett, Jr.
I had the opportunity beforehand to hang out on the red carpet and talk to a few of these actors before the ceremony started.