Patrick Kennedy & Stigma of Mental Illness

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Rhyan Kronzer | November 19, 2014 10:30 am

Although we live in an age of openness and awareness, mental illness is a largely misunderstood and stigmatized condition. In 2012, Chicago closed six of its 12 mental health facilities. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart this year described the jail he oversees as the largest mental health facility in the state of Illinois. After a lifetime of struggling with bipolar disorder and addiction, Patrick Kennedy has had the opportunity to be both patient and policymaker on this issue. As a former congressman, Kennedy worked to pass the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act in 2008, and now works full-time as an advocate for mental health advancements and awareness. The Kennedy Forum Illinois hosted an event last week to raise awareness and spur discussion about the stigma of mental illness and the gap in services for those affected. Kennedy joins us to talk about the event, his own personal struggle, and the aim of his advocacy work.

View a timeline of Kennedy’s career.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Gerry McGee

    We hope that we can follow your example in Canada.

    2017 is a VERY SPECIAL year in Canada, marking the sesquicentenial . of Confederation in our Country., from 1867.

    One of the very important Fathers of Confederation, in 1867, was Thomas D`Arcy McGee, the m,ember of Parliament,, originally from Ireland, for the constituency of Montreal West.. and Minister of Immigration in the cabinet of Prime Minister Sir John A MacDonald .

    McGee was assassinated @ midnight of April 6 1868 as he was entering his rooming house just down from Parliament.. A Fenian, Patrick Whelan was subsequently hanged, after trial, for the killing.

    It was the first political assassination in Canada.

    Thomas D`Arcy McGee was a cousin of my great grandfather who like T D McGee was from the Wexford area of Ireland..

    The Kennedy similarity is interesting. T D McGee was brilliant as an orator, and a poet., but suffered from the addiction to alcohol fo long period.

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