This month, The Kennedy Forum was honored to host a webinar titled “Shocking Injustices: Mental Healthcare & Black Americans” as part of the 2021 National Day of Service to honor the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. More below.
The Kennedy Forum, along with Mental Health America and the National Alliance On Mental Illness, sent a letter urging President Biden to integrate a strong mental health response into fighting COVID-19 by prioritizing screenings, meeting students’ mental health needs, funding suicide prevention and crisis response via the 9-8-8 hotline, and more. Read the full letter here.
Patrick and The Kennedy Forum praised then President-elect Joe Biden’s “American Rescue Plan,” a proposed $1.9 trillion COVID relief and economic stimulus package that would provide an additional $4 billion to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to increase access to treatment and services. Read more in this blog post.
The American Hospital Association has signed on in support of The Kennedy Forum’s Jim Ramstad Model State Parity Legislation, which states can use to hold health insurers accountable for discriminating against those with mental health and substance use disorders by denying coverage of care. See their press release here.
Patrick Kennedy recently submitted comments on proposed Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) regulations implementing provisions relating to the 2018 SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. He urged the DEA to take additional steps to expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT), the gold-standard for treating opioid use disorder that reduces withdrawal symptoms, prevents relapses, and reduces mortality. The Kennedy Forum also joined a statement by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and five other groups urging Congress to eliminate the DATA 2000 X-waiver, which providers must have to prescribe buprenorphine, a key MAT medication. The X-waiver is a discriminatory requirement that inhibits access to lifesaving treatment. Read more in this blog post.
Campaigns & Resources
The Kennedy Forum’s latest round of Don’t Deny Me campaign posts for partner organizations addressed prioritizing mental health in the new year and recent overdose data from the CDC. See sample posts here and here.
The Early Psychosis Intervention Network (EPINET) National Data Coordinating Center is a unique database to support research and improve early psychosis identification, clinical assessment, intervention effectiveness, and recovery outcomes among individuals experiencing their first symptoms of psychosis. Learn more here.
Patrick J. Kennedy will be speaking at the following virtual events:
National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness
February 3, 2021
Blue Meridian Foundation on Mental Health Panel
February 4, 2021
In the News
This month, Patrick co-authored an op-ed titled “Medicare Must Cover Mental Health” with Ben Miller of Well Being Trust and Kavita Patel, a primary care physician at Mary’s Center and a former Director of Policy in the Obama Administration. Read it here.
Patrick recently spoke to Lemonada Media for season two of their powerful “Last Day” podcast, which delves into America’s increasing suicide rate. Listen to the full episode here.
The Kennedy Forum was honored to host a webinar titled “Shocking Injustices: Mental Healthcare & Black Americans” as part of the 2021 National Day of Service to honor the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Watch the recording here. Patrick also joined Well Being Trust and Inseparable for a webinar titled “Becoming an Advocate for Mental Health Reform.” Watch the recording here.
Patrick was happy to serve as a panelist (alongside Dr. Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, Dr. Jonathan E. Sherin, LA County District Attorney George Gascon, Judge Songhai Armstead, Felica Jones, and others) for the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior BEDLAM screening event on January 19. Watch a recording of the virtual event here.