During his time in Congress, Patrick J. Kennedy was the lead author of the groundbreaking Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (Federal Parity Law), which requires insurers to cover treatment for mental health and substance use disorders no more restrictively than treatment for illnesses of the body, such as diabetes and cancer. In 2013, he founded The Kennedy Forum, a nonprofit that unites mental health advocates, business leaders, and government agencies in support of mental health equity and works to advance evidence-based practices, policies, and programming around treatment and recovery.
In 2015, Kennedy co-authored the New York Times Bestseller, “A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction,” which details a bold plan for the future of mental health care in America. In 2017, he was appointed to the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.
Kennedy is also the co-founder of One Mind, an organization that pushes for greater global investment in brain research; co-chair of Mental Health for US, a nonpartisan initiative designed to elevate mental health and addiction in policy conversations during the 2020 election cycle; and founder of DontDenyMe.org, an educational campaign that empowers consumers and providers to understand parity rights and connects them to essential appeals guidance and resources. He serves as a board member for many influential, cause-driven organizations, including Best Buddies, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, the International Bipolar Foundation, the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation, and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.
The pursuit of mental health equity
The role of the Federal Parity Law
The need for health care integration
Technology’s role in mental health care
Brain health as an essential part of overall health
Combatting the opioid crisis
Roadmap for a better health care system
National and state advocacy work
Workplace mental health
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