Grey New York will receive a Special Recognition Award at tonight's SAMHSA Voice Awards, which honor entertainment industry leaders and health consumer advocates who have given a voice to individuals with mental health issues.
The awards, hosted by actor Richard Dreyfuss at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, Calif., are sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The Ad Council is a SAMHSA program partner.
Grey is being recognized for its pro bono work with the Ad Council on the "National Mental Health Anti-Stigma" campaign, under the direction of Rob Baiocco, deputy chief creative officer. It began working with SAMHSA in 2005 on the anti-stigma awareness campaign before taking up an effort at the end of that year to help people who were suffering from depression in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
The agency returned to the awareness effort in 2006, adding viral videos, a Web site and banner ads targeting 18-to-24-year-olds in 2008 and 2009. Another effort aimed at African-Americans is awaiting SAMHSA release.
Entertainment-industry nominees include "The Soloist," "Michael Clayton," "Lars and the Real Girl," "90210," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Law & Order: SVU." In addition, the awards will showcase the stories and achievements of consumer leaders who are working in the mental-health arena, with Mary Ellen Copeland of West Dummerston, Vt., receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award for her leadership and contributions to the mental health recovery movement. Former U.S. Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon and Sharon Smith—whose 21-year-old son Garrett died by suicide—will receive SAMHSA's Spotlight Award for their work in increasing awareness of suicide prevention.