Friday, September 6, 2013

APA Spokesperson Patrick Kennedy Holds Media Tour on Mental Health Issues

As next month marks open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act and the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s signing of the Community Mental Health Act, former Congressman and APA spokesperson Patrick Kennedy is taking steps to ensure that the plea for adequate health care for those with mental illness is being heard by the masses.

On September 4 and 5, Kennedy led a national media tour from Boston to Los Angeles in honor of National Suicide Prevention Month. The tour consisted of 24 interviews across television, radio, and digital media outlets and showcased APA’s leadership role in fighting the stigma that prevents many Americans from receiving effective care for suicide prevention, psychiatric conditions, and substance abuse disorders.

“Health care reform is a big win for us, because it eliminates the preexisting condition clause...but we are looking for a rule that will define mental health…If you provide coverage of asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular disease…you must treat a mental illness in the same respect,” he said during an interview on MSNBC’s "Andrea Mitchell Reports." Kennedy emphasized that preventative care is highly important in treating mental illness. “The job of reducing suicide is to treat the underlying mental health issue, and hopefully that is what parity will begin to do,” he concluded.

For more information on Kennedy's commitment to mental health issues, see the Psychiatric News article "APA Holds Press Conference on Key Mental Health Issues." Also, see Kennedy's interview on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports."


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