Black Swan, Mad Men Honored For Portrayal Of Mental Health Issues

Black Swan and AMC's Mad Men were among those honored at the 15th annual PRISM Awards last week.

The PRISM Awards, which honors "accurate portrayals" of mental health issues in the media, is produced by the non-profit Entertainment Industries Council, in conjunction with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and aims to "increase awareness and understanding of major health and social issues in the entertainment industry":

"It's really to encourage the writers, producers, directors, the talent and the executives to pay attention to these issues and recognize that the messages they send can often be a positive conduit of information to the viewer," says council president Brian Dyak.

The awards seek to honor television and film that successfully tackle mental health issues in a way that manages to be both true to life and entertaining, while not exploiting the topics:

"As the creative community has become more comfortable, they've also become more sensitive toward the caution they need to accept when telling these stories," he says. He notes the difficulty of portraying sensitive issues such as suicide awareness and prevention without "triggering copycats."

Josh Berman, executive producer and creator of Drop Dead Diva who also received an award for best comedy series episode, said:

"Any awards that recognize TV or films that explore the human condition in ways that shine light on disorders or conditions that the general public doesn't necessarily know about are a good thing."

Other award winners included Showtime's Nurse Jackie, FX Network's Rescue Me, and NBC's Parenthood.