From U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (NNS) -- A Navy medical professional received the Voice Award Aug. 24 at Paramount Studios for her efforts in building awareness about the impact of trauma on service members and their families.
Heidi Kraft, Ph.D., a leading clinical psychologist and consultant for the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED), was honored at the 2011 Voice Awards for her achievement in successful educational efforts for Navy Medicine.
The awards ceremony was hosted by Emmy and Golden Globe nominee and NBC's "Parenthood" star Peter Krause and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Now in its sixth year, the Voice Awards convenes representatives from the entertainment industry and the behavioral health community for an evening of education and awareness about the societal contributions of people living with behavioral health problems. This year's event emphasized awareness about the impact of trauma and the significant effects it can have on individuals, families, friends, and communities across the country.
Kraft, a former Navy psychologist, supports the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps' combat stress control outreach programs. In that capacity, she speaks to more than 50 groups each year. The audiences range from active duty leaders to healthcare providers to veterans and community support groups and also include deployed active duty audiences in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Germany, Japan, and Cuba. Kraft has spoken to more than 27,000 people about how to cope with stress and build resiliency skills over the past three years.
"I am deeply honored to have been nominated for SAMHSA's The Voice award," said Kraft. "I learned that my nomination came from a clinician and a group of her combat trauma patients who heard me speak at a VA event last year. Knowing this makes it all even more special, as obviously my combat veteran patients mean the world to me."
Kraft said she was very happy and honored to represent those who have provided medical and psychological care and treatment for combat trauma, both in the war zone and at home. She said she was also pleased to see SAMHSA put special focus on trauma at this year's award. Additionally, she expressed her hope that this event in Hollywood will be one of many going forward which continue to fight the stigma against seeking help for combat trauma that combat veterans and their families face today.
"They have all heard Navy Medicine's message of the importance of recognizing and battling stigma regarding seeking mental health treatment for combat trauma, and the vital need to care for one another in this time of ongoing war," said Kraft.
Kraft earned her degree in clinical psychology from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and completed an internship in medical psychology at Duke University Medical Center. She joined the Navy during her internship and served nine years on active duty as both a flight and clinical psychologist. In February 2004, she deployed to Iraq for seven months with a Marine Corps surgical company. Her book "Rule Number Two" is a memoir of that experience.
The Voice Awards are a collaborative effort among the entertainment industry and the behavioral health community including the Ad Council; American Academy of Physician Assistants; American Counseling Association; American Psychiatric Foundation; American Psychiatric Nurses Association; American Psychological Association; The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors; The Creative Coalition; Mental Health America; Mental Health Media Partnership; National Alliance on Mental Illness; National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Directors; National Association of Social Workers; National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors; National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare; Project Return Peer Support Network; RTI International; Talk Therapy TV; and the Writers Guild of America West.
Navy Medicine is a global healthcare network of 63,000 Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.