Politician, author, and mental health advocate Patrick Joseph Kennedy II will be speaking at the College of Charleston at 10 am on Oct. 11, 2017, about mental health care in the United States and the critical fight against separate and unequal treatment of mental illness, addiction, and other brain diseases.
As a member of one of the nation’s best-known political families, the former congressman is a leading voice for the growing movement for transformative change in mental health care parity. During his 16 years serving Rhode Island’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, he fought to end discrimination against mental illness, addiction and brain diseases – and was a lead sponsor of the landmark Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, which not only provides mental health treatment to tens of millions of Americans, but also combats the shame surrounding mental illness and addiction.
Another one of Kennedy’s greatest achievements is sharing his own experience with mental health recovery in The New York Times‘ best-seller, A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction, in which he provides a blueprint for transforming our nation’s mental health system.
His talk, “My Journey: Making Mental Health Essential Health,” is free and open to the public and will take place in the Stern Center Ballroom located at 71 George St. It is co-hosted by the College‘s Collegiate Recovery Program and Counseling and Substance Abuse Services.
“The Collegiate Recovery Program is honored to welcome Patrick Kennedy to campus, as he is one of the nation’s leading advocates for making addiction treatment more accessible to those who need help,” says Wood Marchant ’89, director of the program, which supports students in recovery from addiction as they pursue their degrees. “His work supporting those with mental illness is inspiring, and we look forward to hearing how his own recovery helped him help others.”
This is an unedited press release