It’s Red Carpet Time at SAMHSA’s Voice Awards, and Oscar Wright joins Jennifer Whitney on our Proposition 63 Mental Health Services Action Segment!

The Voice Awards, held at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, recognizes realistic portrayals of Mental Health issues in the media, as well as individuals, consumers, family members and advocates who make a difference. Paolo del Vecchio, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Director of the Center for Mental Health Services joins us to share a bit of his own personal story, why the Voice Awards are important, and some of the people being honored. One of the honorees, former NBA Basketball star Chris Herren joins us to talk about his journey to the NBA and recovering from a heroin addiction, and bouncing back strong to help others through his foundation through which he does inspirational speaking engagements and also helps not only with a message of support, but also has a program for those who cannot afford treatment. On our Proposition 63 Mental Health Services Action Segment with Jennifer Whitney, Oscar Wright from the United Advocates for Children and Families joins Jennifer to talk about not only the importance of culturally sensitive programs and treatments, but why they are needed and why people must understand the importance of innovation in dealing with mental health issues.

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Show Recap:

Paolo Delvecchio, Director of Dept of Mental Health at SAMHSA
Chris Herren, in ‘Unguarded,’ an ESPN documentary, author of ‘Basketball Junkie’
Oscar Wright, CEO of UACF

  • The Voice Awards is put on by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
  • Take Shelter, Castle, Glee, Law and Order, Parenthood, Necessary Roughness and Homeland were all honored at the Voice Awards.
  • Paolo has experienced depression and addiction. The importance of people sharing their stories and bringing these issues out is very important. Mental Health and addiction problems affect every family. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of mental health and substance abuse. 4 main messages and goals: 1)behavioral health is essential for overall health, 2) prevention works, 3) treatment is effective and 4)that people recover
  • People get most of their information through entertainment industry. SAMHSA wants there to be a good message for people and let people know that people DO recover and there is hope for people who are experiencing mental health and/or addiction problems.
  • Chris Herren, author of ‘Basketball Junkie.’ He is a recovering heroin addict, and ex-pro basketball player.
  • Having money doesn’t make struggling through substance abuse easier. It actually may make it harder when you have a lot of money.
  • A lot of athletes loose their sense of well being when they become “successful.” Treatment worked for Chris. He overdosed a few times and finally went to long- term treatment. He found that he was WORTH of seeking treatment.
  • The first step is going to meeting. You can find people who are just like you.
  • He now travels all over, promoting The Herren Project. His goal is to fund treatment for those that cant afford it.

Prop 63 Segment

  • Oscar Wright- CEO of United Advocates for Children and Families, nonprofit for 20 years. UACF is a voice for children and families.
  • There have been articles lately criticizing Prevention and Early Intervention programs.
  • Gardening is a strategy to reduce stress and help mental health.
  • When you look at different cultures, you need to have a non-traditional approach at treating mental health. Not every culture feels comfortable about treating mental health.
  • Horseback riding therapy is very common with American Indians.
  • What can we do to try to have people understand and to break down the stigma of mental health? The is a language barrier, causing misrepresentation sometimes. Oscar would encourage a public awareness campaign on reducing stigma that is culturally focused, support groups, and tons of other things.
  • People who speak out and you can put a face on the community is very important.
  • Yoga, meditation, mood management programs are ways to also manage mental health in a non-traditional way
  • UACF intends to start a syndicated column throughout the state on mental health. This will be the first syndicated column created.

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