Our Mental Health & Addiction Practice
The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy leads the national mental health and addiction policy practice at Healthsperien, bringing decades of national policy and political leadership and expertise to a diverse array of clients.
Representative Kennedy provides guidance on policy development, strategic advice, and lobbying to clients—including patient groups, providers, employers, innovator companies, payors, and more—to advance innovative approaches and improve access to high-quality, affordable mental health and addiction care for individuals and their caregivers in the United States.
Our Mental Health and Addiction Policy Practice focuses on these key areas of health system innovation and transformation:
About Representative Kennedy
During his time in Congress, Patrick J. Kennedy co-authored the landmark 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 advocates, business leaders, and government agencies to advance evidence-based practices, policies, and programming in mental health and addiction. 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 2023, The Kennedy Forum launched the Alignment for Progress, a movement to align leaders from across industry and across the aisle to achieve 90/90/90 by 2033: 90% of all individuals will be screened for mental health and substance use disorders; 90% of those screened will be able to receive evidence-based treatment; 90% of those receiving treatment will be able to manage their symptoms in recovery. Kennedy’s second co-authored book “Profiles in Mental Health Courage” available April 2024 will delve into the compelling stories of a diverse group of Americans who have struggled with their mental health – many of whom are sharing their stories for the first time.
Kennedy served with distinction for eight terms (1995-2011), representing Rhode Island’s first congressional district. In Congress, Kennedy was recognized for his leadership in establishing high-quality mental and behavioral health standards in the United States. During his 16-year tenure in the United States House of Representatives, Rep. Kennedy championed policies aimed at ending discrimination against those suffering from mental illness, addiction, and other brain-related disorders. Notably, he served as the lead sponsor of the landmark Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which ensures equitable insurance coverage for mental health and substance use disorders. Since its passage, Rep. Kennedy has successfully ensured proper oversight of implementation and enforcement of the Act so that more Americans can access the mental health and substance use disorder care they need.
Kennedy is also the founder of DontDenyMe.org, an educational campaign that empowers consumers and providers to understand parity rights and connects them to essential appeals guidance and resources; co-founder of One Mind, an organization that pushes for greater global investment in brain research; co-founder of Psych Hub, the most comprehensive online learning platform on mental health, substance use, and suicide prevention topics in the world; co-chair of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Mental Health & Suicide Prevention National Response to COVID-19 (National Response); and co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Behavioral Health Integration Task Force.