During his 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives serving Rhode Island’s First Congressional District, Patrick J. Kennedy fought to end discrimination against mental illness, addiction, and other brain diseases. He is best known as the lead sponsor of the 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, Kennedy founded The Kennedy Forum, a think tank focused on advancing evidence-based practices, policies, and programming in mental health and addiction care by uniting mental health advocates, business leaders, and government agencies around a common set of principles, including full implementation and enforcement of the Federal Parity Law. He is also the founder of DontDenyMe.org, a website that empowers consumers and providers to stand up for patient rights under the Federal Parity Law and connects them with essential appeals guidance and resources.
Kennedy is co-founder of One Mind, a global leader in open science collaboration for brain research, and Psych Hub, an online repository of educational videos about mental health. In 2015, he co-authored the New York Times Bestseller, “A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction.” The narrative details his personal struggles, as well as his bold plan for the future of mental health care in America.
Kennedy lives in New Jersey with his wife, Amy, and their five children.