1. Mark A. Davis Mark A. Davis United States says:

    A VOICE STORY

    With pride and joy being honored with a consumer leadership award at the SAMHSA Voice Awards Ceremony in Paramount Studios was an amazing experience.  It was enchanting with everything from red carpet (inside due to unusual rain and cold temps) to after-party on a Hollywood set (basic big room with black drops and white table cloth).  The award ceremony honors film, television and entertainment industry’s positive portrayal of those of us LIVING WITH mental health, addiction and complex conditions.  

    It was an honor to represent the enormous need for affirming mental health, addiction and suicide prevention services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex and two-spirit citizens with help from supportive allies.  Akin to the fight for LGBT non-discrimination, hate crime, immigration, same sex marriage legislative, executive and litigation action; dismantling of DADT and DOMA; and civil rights equality, WE MUST NOT overlook the need for suicide prevention, mental health, addiction and co-occurring health services TO REMAIN ALIVE TO THRIVE.

    In addition, the mental health consumer/survivor civil rights movement represents a fine line between creativity and madness as we can recover with artistic expression, peer support, inclusion in representation and freedom to reform akin to all the rights movements that have lead and inspired our own inherent fight for recovery rights. IT’S NOT ABOUT US WITHOUT US!!!

    I was able to score tickets to the Phillies first play-off victory at Dodgers Field before flying back to Philly on a red eye.  The trip from gate to gate was a 72-hour "voluntary" commitment in a Glenn Close Recovery Encounter of the Third Kind with Richard Dreyfuss as our emcee.  He shared his story living with a bipolar condition that has challenged and supported an Oscar winning career.  Richard charged Hollywood and stakeholders to face a new beginning in our work to save lives, share our stories and lead the way to end stigmas and stereotypes. A VOICE is best heard when a part of a larger movement for civil rights, recovery transformation and social change.  LET ALL OUR VOICES BE HOPEFUL, HERALDED AND HONORED!  It’s a WRAP!

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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