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Social Workers Shine at Voice Awards in Los Angeles!

Social worker and "The Biggest Loser" contestant Shay Sorrells poses on the red carpet at the Voice Awards in Los Angeles. Shay was a special guest of the National Association of Social Workers.

Social workers made a splash at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2010 Voice Awards at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles on Oct. 13.

The National Association of Social Workers is one of SAMHSA’s partners in the awards program, which honors writers and producers of television shows and films that increase awareness of mental health and substance abuse issues.

NASW Senior Practice Associate Sharon Issurdatt, ACSW, DCSW, LCSW, was also one of the judges who helped pick award recipients.

NASW representatives at the event were Suzanne Dworak-Peck, MSW, LCSW, ACSW, past president of the National Association of Social Workers and a member of the NASW Communications Network Advisory Committee and NASW Senior Public Relations Specialist Greg Wright.

NASW’s special guests were Rebecca Volberg, who handles standards and practices for “Huge” and other ABC Family programs, and social worker Shay Sorrells, MSW, a former contestant on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.”

NASW Past President Suzanne Dworak-Peck (left) and NASW special guest Rebecca Volberg of ABC Family.

This year’s award program recognized the contributions of America’s military men and women and the behavioral health issues they face after returning from the battlefield to their families and communities.

This theme was reflected in the selection of some of the award recipients. Lifetime network’s “Army Wives” and ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” were both awarded for episodes that addressed post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Attending the award program was a moving and inspiring experience,” Wright said. “It is heartening to see that more programs are accurately depicting issues which are important to social workers.”

“We hope the connections we make at such events will lead to more positive media portrayals of social workers and the invaluable work they do,” Wright said.

Suzanne Dworak-Peck and Voice Award recipient and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

Voice Awards co-host actor Hector Elizondo and Shay Sorrells.

From left: NASW's Greg Wright, Past NASW President Suzanne Dworak-Peck, Voice Award co-host and actor Lou Gossett and Shay Sorrells.


SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde (right) and other Voice Awards recipients and attendees.

Voice Award program cover

NASW Voice Award advertisement


To get the full list of Voice Award honorees click here. To learn more about how social workers help consumers with behavioral health issues and veterans visit NASW’s “Help Starts Here” Mind & Spirit Web page by clicking here and Veterans Affairs Web page by clicking here.

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