Patrick Kennedy was a key supporter of the FREED Act. In fact, he was the first champion of FREED introducing it for the first time in 2009. Patrick Kennedy stepped down from Congress in 2011, but he remains a supporter of the EDC’s work and a champion for mental health policy.
Recently, Patrick Kennedy delivered a speech to the Mental Health Liaison Group, a group which the EDC is a member. He urged further collaboration within the mental health community, and emphasized the need for additional policies.
We agree with the sentiment of his final sentences “We have made great strides in passing the parity law and seeing it integrated into the Affordable Care Act, and many of you deserve credit for these truly significant steps. … More important, we are working to ensure that people with these conditions receive the care they need when and where they need it and that they are not punished because it is their brain that is affected. That’s why I continue to see the fight for parity – the quest for a culture of parity – as the civil rights struggle of today, and that’s why I’m so proud to be working with all of you to achieve our common goals.”
Thank you, Patrick Kennedy for joining the EDC in this fight. As we continue to fight for people with eating disorders. We too, are working for a world, where eating disorders are treated at parity, everyone receives the treatment they need, physicians are well-trained to recognize early eating disorders, and prevention programs abound in schools. We are working to influence federal policy so that these hopes become reality.
For the full text of his speech click here.