Chandra Wilson was delighted to host the 10th Annual Voice Awards for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) at UCLA’s Royce Hall.
Tonight, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will recognize actors Wayne Brady and Brittany Snow at the 2015 Voice Awards for their efforts to improve public awareness and understanding of behavioral health issues and the reality of recovery. Behavioral health community leaders and television and film screenwriters and producers will also be recognized for their efforts to promote the importance of behavioral health.
Hosted by actress Chandra Wilson of past Voice Award-winning ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” the Voice Awards will be held at UCLA’sRoyce Hall in Los Angeles.
This is the 10th anniversary of the Voice Awards – program based on proven strategies to counter negative attitudes, beliefs, and behavior associated with mental and substance use disorders by recognizing accurate depictions of behavioral health conditions by entertainment media. The Voice Awards also connects the entertainment community with the people they are portraying: consumers and peer leaders. This year, the event will spotlight the importance of preventing suicide through meeting behavioral health care needs.
“Whether they are watching a movie or television program, or listening to a personal story of recovery first-hand, it is critical to reach our audiences with messages that reinforce behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “We applaud the Voice Award winners for their honesty, leadership, and courage in giving voice to millions of individuals living with mental and substance use disorders and their recovery journeys.”
Brady and Snow will each receive SAMHSA Special Recognition Awards. Snow co-founded the Love is Louder movement with The Jed Foundation to support anyone feeling mistreated, hopeless, or alone. She will be recognized for helping thousands of individuals, campuses, and communities use Love is Louder programs, events, and clubs to address important behavioral health issues. Brady will be honored for his mental health advocacy and involvement with the #StrongerThanStigma PSA campaign that encourages men to talk about their mental health.
Major Sam Cochran (retired) of the Memphis Police will also be honored with a SAMHSA Special Recognition Award for his work in developing the Crisis Intervention Team in Memphis, Tennessee. This unit has become a model for improving the way law enforcement officials respond to people experiencing mental health crises and allows for safer, more appropriate responses.