During his time in Congress, Patrick J. Kennedy was the lead author of the groundbreaking 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 mental health advocates, business leaders, and government agencies in support of mental health equity and works to advance evidence-based practices, policies, and programming around treatment and recovery. 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 2017, he was appointed to the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.
Kennedy is also the co-founder of One Mind, an organization that pushes for greater global investment in brain research; co-chair of Mental Health for US, a nonpartisan initiative designed to elevate mental health and addiction in policy conversations during the 2020 election cycle; and founder of DontDenyMe.org, a campaign that educates consumers and providers about patient rights under the Federal Parity Law and connects them to essential appeals guidance and resources.