ACA Pop Culture Connection Blog

Learn more about celebrities who use their platforms to spotlight mental health, as well as unique pop culture-inspired news and resources.


Oct 03, 2017

2017 SAMHSA Voice Awards: Honoring Film, Television Work That Offers Hope and Support

The 12th annual Voice Awards ceremony, presented in Los Angeles by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), put members and former members of the military services squarely in the spotlight. The theme of the 2017 awards program was “Honoring Those Who Serve: Hope, Resilience, and Recovery.”

The goal of the Voice Awards program is to help inform the public about mental health conditions and addictions, demonstrate that recovery is real and possible, and change how the public understands and accepts people with behavioral health conditions.

This year, celebrity chef Robert Irvine was the master of ceremonies for the Voice Awards, which celebrate leaders from the entertainment industry, the behavioral health community, and the general public who educate people about behavioral health. Irvine served in the British Royal Navy and now participates in charity events for our troops and returning veterans.

And the winners are…

The Voice Awards named two winners in the film category:
Captain Fantastic
Megan Leavey

The winners in the television category include:
Chris Gethard: Career Suicide
Jane the Virgin (Season 3)
One Day at a Time (Season 1)
The Warfighters (Season 1, Episode 6)
This Is Us (Season 1)

The documentary category winners include:
Almost Sunrise
Iron Will: Veterans Battle with PTSD
The S Word

In addition, 13 film and documentary projects and 10 television projects received Honorable Mention awards. A complete list of the award winners appears online.

SAMHSA Special Recognition Awards honored former U.S. senator Elizabeth Dole and actress/writer Carrie Fisher. Awards also were presented in categories including Lifetime Achievement, Consumer/Peer/Family Leadership, and Young Adult Leadership.

The ACA Role in the Voice Awards

American Counseling Association (ACA) President Gerard Lawson and ACA CEO Rich Yep attended the 2017 Voice Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. ACA has been a co-sponsor of the awards since their launch in 2005. John Duggan, MA, LPC, LCPC, the ACA manager of professional development, serves on the panel of Voice Award judges.

This year, Yep presented an award in the Documentary category to Lisa Klein, the director of “The S Word.” Klein worked for three years on the film, which provides a look at those affected by suicide.

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