Patrick J. Kennedy, Former U.S. Representative , Congress | Speaker

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Former U.S. Representative
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During his time in Congress, Patrick J. Kennedy was the lead author of the landmark 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 advocates, business leaders, and government agencies to advance evidence-based practices, policies, and programming in mental health and addiction. 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 2023, The Kennedy Forum launched the Alignment for Progress, a movement to align leaders from across industry and across the aisle to achieve 90/90/90 by 2033: 90% of all individuals will be screened for mental health and substance use disorders; 90% of those screened will be able to receive evidence-based treatment; 90% of those receiving treatment will be able to manage their symptoms in recovery. Kennedy’s second co-authored book “Profiles in Mental Health Courage” available April 2024 will delve into the compelling stories of a diverse group of Americans who have struggled with their mental health – many of whom are sharing their stories for the first time.

Kennedy is also the founder of, an educational campaign that empowers consumers and providers to understand parity rights and connects them to essential appeals guidance and resources; co-founder of One Mind, an organization that pushes for greater global investment in brain research; co-chair of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Mental Health & Suicide Prevention National Response to COVID-19 (National Response); and co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Behavioral Health Integration Task Force.