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Patrick J. Kennedy Updates & Activities

This month, Patrick returned to the White House for a celebration of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which represents a historic step forward for gun safety and mental health. It was a unique opportunity to connect with families, fellow advocates, and policymakers alike. The new legislation supports additional school-based mental health professionals and wrap-around services, suicide and violence prevention programs, early intervention programs, telehealth, access, a nationwide rollout of the certified community behavioral health centers model, and more.

Patrick with U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), 

who has been a leader in advancing parity.


Partner Spotlight

A new Adolescent Treatment Training Series from Aetna, a CVS Health Company and Psych Hub will equip 283,000 behavioral health and employee assistance program providers in Aetna’s commercial network, Aetna’s internal clinicians, and CVS Health’s licensed counselors at MinuteClinics in select HealthHUB locations with access to FREE, evidence-based courses and resources to help them better serve youth.

Wayspring recently announced the launch of their newest market serving Highmark Health Options members in Delaware. Their SUD Home program utilizes a comprehensive and longitudinal approach to reduce common barriers that people often experience when seeking treatment for substance use disorder. It has established an integrated health care clinic where participating members can receive quick and easy access to primary care and behavioral health services delivered in-person and via telehealth by licensed Wayspring providers. More here.

Equip announced a nationwide expansion! The virtual eating disorder treatment provider will now be able to see patients in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. More here

Brightline's co-founder and CEO, Naomi Allen, addressed the youth mental health crisis in Fast Company calling on employers to better support parents who often struggle to secure care. More here.  

Upcoming Events

SAMHSA Recovery Summit
August 10, 2022
At SAMHSA's Recovery Summit, Patrick will speak to participants and join a Q&A session. The Summit at large will review systems change in support of recovery and assess significant changes to our communities. This convening will honor SAMHSA‘s commitment to ensuring that the input and ideas of individuals with lived experience (and allies) will inform development of the National Recovery Agenda and SAMHSA’s overall work in establishing and promoting recovery-oriented systems of care.

Advisory Committee on Horizon ISC Expansion- Children & Adolescents
August 16, 2022
Patrick and Amy Kennedy will serve on this advisory committee, working  to assure that there are adequate resources to meet the needs of our children and adolescents who are diagnosed with behavioral health conditions. 

Mobilize Recovery 2022

September 17 and September 29

The Kennedy Forum is excited to join nearly two dozen cross-sector partners from across the country in supporting Mobilize Recovery 2022, an initiative of the Recovery Advocacy Project and the Voices Project. Mobilize Recovery strives to advance policy around substance use disorder recovery, to create connections to vital and lifesaving services, and to engage affected individuals in meaningful community action. 

Patrick will speak at Mobilize Recovery's bus tour stop in Philadelphia on September 17 and will deliver the keynote speech September 29. 

National Opioid and Substance Awareness Day Virtual Event

September 13, 2022

National Opioid and Substance Awareness Day will host a virtual town hall event from 12:00-3:00 pm EDT, where participants will learn from experts and from those with lived experience about substance misuse and treatment, and will be able to take free, anonymous, online screenings for themselves or a loved one. As an honorary guest, Patrick will deliver remarks virtually. 

Solomon Partners Cape Cod Summit

September 23, 2022

Solomon Partners will host its annual Cape Cod Summit focused on healthcare technology and tech enables services. Patrick will join a screening of "Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness," and panel discussion with Garen Staglin of One Mind and Erik Ewers of Florentine Films.


Thriving Young Minds: Support for Mental Health and Well-Being in Schools

September 29, 2022

Mindful Philanthropy, in partnership with The Kennedy Forum and Inseparable, will host a convening of philanthropic funders interested in finding ways to better support our youth. By tackling topics that range from addressing childhood trauma to supporting parents and teachers, this convening will guide funders from interest to action.

Advocacy Updates

HB 1013, also known as the Mental Health Parity Act, went into effect in Georgia this month. The legislation, which is based on The Kennedy Forum’s model state parity bill, requires insurers doing business in the state to follow generally accepted standards of care and strengthens parity reporting requirements. Patrick and Forum staff thanked The Carter Center and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Georgia chapter for their partnership in advocacy. More here.

Patrick and The Kennedy Forum signed on to a letter led by Trust for America’s Health in support of Sen. King and Sen. Murkowski's Improving Data Collection for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Act, which would enable a new CDC study with a diverse sample population; a focus on the connection between ACEs and negative health outcomes; additional research on the effects of social, economic, and community conditions on health and well-being; and more.


Patrick joined a panel with Kevin Sabet, Ph.D., President and CEO of Smart Approaches to Marijuana; Mark Gold, MD, physician, professor, author, researcher, founder of UFCM Division of Addiction Medicine, and D.A.R.E. Board member; and Aubree Adams, Director of Every Brain Matters at the 24th D.A.R.E. International Training Conference on July 17. Watch their discussion about the risks of rising teen marijuana use here. Watch Patrick’s intro video below.

Patrick joined a panel with Paul Rains, Senior VP of Behavioral Health and President of St. Joseph’s Behavioral Health Center, and Janet Reilly, Co-founder and Board President of Clinic by the Bay, at the Commonwealth Club’s Humankindness and Health Justice Series on July 27th. Watch their discussion about the intersection of mental health and equity here.

Psych Hub’s “Future of Mental Health” podcasts (hosted by Marjorie Morrison and Patrick J. Kennedy) released this month:

  • Jan Bruce, CEO of meQuilbrium, discusses mental health and burnout in the workplace. Listen here
  • Patrice A. Harris, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of eMed, discusses integration of mental health into other systems from education to justice. Listen here

Hope you are enjoying summer and have the opportunity to relax and restore! If you have any questions or would like more information on any of Patrick’s activities, please do not hesitate to be in touch! 

Kara Kukfa 
Chief of Staff 
Patrick J. Kennedy