Patrick Kennedy Unveils New Mental Healthcare Initiative

Jul 25, 2013

Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy on Wednesday announced a new initiative to improve mental health care for Americans.

Despite progress, Kennedy says Americans with mental illness still face discrimination and a heightened risk for suicide. He plans to launch a new effort called the Kennedy Forum to address these and similar problems. Kennedy said part of the answer is implementing a 2008 law meant to ensure parity in insurance coverage for mental health care issues.

"Without equality or parity, insurance can still refuse to cover mental illnesses at the same level as other physical illnesses, making it harder for people to get well and often isolating them from their struggle," said Kennedy.

Kennedy said veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are among those who need a more responsive system for mental health care. The Kennedy Forum mental health initiative will formally launch during an October event in Boston.

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