On the Red Carpet at the Voice Awards 2010It 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.

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On the Red Carpet at the Voice Awards 2010

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  1. Thank you for sharing… Do you have any video of the event?

  2. As a documentary-filmmaker and VOICE winner from the Awards’ inaugural year, I appreciate the encouragement (and refuge) the VOICE Awards provide for those of us trying to humanize the world of mental health. Thanks for letting readers know that some of us are working to right over a century of terrible film/television imagery.

    For many of us, making these shows means fighting uphill battles with industry executives who are profoundly misinformed.

    Some of the worst network feedback I’ve gotten includes being told that the main person featured in one documentary “wasn’t schizophrenic-enough” because he didn’t “look crazy.” And most recently I was instructed to “make sure the film makes it clear schizophrenia is a real disease – not like all those other mental illnesses.”

    This ignorance prevents a large portion of the industry from seeing the enormity of the “market” impacted by mental health problems. My latest PBS film on schizophrenia pulled in 25% higher viewership than PBS typically gets – surprising all but those of us who know the broad impact of mental health issues.

    Thanks for covering the event.

    Katie Cadigan, producer
    imageReal Pictures

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