The Rockland Independent Living Center (RILC) received the nation’s first-ever “Wellness Initiative Award” from the federal government.
On Wednesday, the administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), presented RILC CEO and Executive Director George Hoehmann with the award for the film “Heart & Soul.”
RILC was recognized for the 2012 award-winning “Heart & Soul: A Film Promoting Whole Body Wellness in Behavioral Health.” RILC produced the film, which deals with a public health crisis affecting individuals with behavioral health issues who are dying decades earlier than the general population, often due to cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Ted “The Golden Voice” Williams, whose tale of recovery is included in the film, also narrated it. “Heart & Soul” will receive an Honorable Mention at SAMHSA’s 2013 Voice Awards ceremony on September 25 at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. The Voice Awards program recognizes consumer/peer leaders and TV and film professionals who educate the public about the real experiences of people with behavioral health problems.
“Heart & Soul” has been screened locally as well as in national venues. It has been accepted as part of the New York City portion of “Reel Recovery Film Festival” an international film festival held in Vancouver British Columbia, Los Angeles and New York City from the last week of September through the first week of October. “Heart & Soul” will also be screened in Dallas during the final week of October at the National Social Workers Conference.
SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde presented the award to Hoehmann at the Third Annual Recovery Month Event Awards Luncheon. The Awards luncheon was archived for viewing. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.
The film was sponsored by a SAMHSA grant as part of the Million Hearts campaign and directed by Falling Awake Productions. “Heart and Soul” is available for purchase for $19.95, plus shipping and handling at www.heartandsoulfilm.org.
RILC is a not-for-profit agency, based in New City that serves all individuals with or affected by disabilities. It is one of 37 Independent Living Centers in New York State helping to promote the Independent Living philosophy which champions consumer empowerment and control in all areas of their life: education, recreation, employment, housing and community involvement.