A Common Struggle A Common Struggle

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About the Book

"We have the power to help change the world for people who have mental illness and addiction...I have bet my life on it."

-Patrick J. Kennedy

A Common Struggle weaves together Kennedy’s private and professional narratives, echoing Kennedy’s philosophy that for him, the personal is political and the political personal. Focusing on the years from his ‘coming out’ about suffering from bipolar disorder and addiction to the present day, the book examines Kennedy’s journey toward recovery and reflects on Americans’ propensity to treat mental illnesses as “family secrets.”

Beyond his own story, though, Kennedy creates a roadmap for equality in the mental health community, and outlines a bold plan for the future of mental health policy. Written with award-winning healthcare journalist and best-selling author Stephen Fried, A Common Struggle is both a cry for empathy and a call to action.

"Fascinating ... This book is a must-read, not only for those suffering from mental health and substance use disorders, but also for the professionals who treat them and for those who pay for that treatment."

-Dr. George Koob, Director National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Clinical Psychiatry News

Read an excerpt

About the Authors

Patrick J. Kennedy

The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the nation’s leading political voice on mental illness, addiction, and other brain diseases. During his 16-year career representing Rhode Island in Congress, he fought a national battle to end medical and societal discrimination against these illnesses, highlighted by his lead sponsorship of the Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act of 2008--and his brave openness about his own health challenges. The son of Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy, he decided to leave Congress not long after his father’s death to devote his career to advocacy for brain diseases and to create a new, healthier life and start a family. He has since founded the Kennedy Forum, which unites the community of mental health, and co-founded One Mind for Research, which sponsors brain research and open science collaboration. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, Amy, and their three (soon to be four) children.

www.patrickjkennedy.net

Stephen Fried

Stephen Fried is an award-winning magazine journalist, a best-selling author and an adjunct professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is the author of two books on healthcare, mental health and addiction--Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs and Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia—as well as The New Rabbi, Husbandry and his recent historical biography Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West—One Meal at a Time, which was a New York Times bestseller. Fried lives in Philadelphia with his wife, author Diane Ayres.

www.stephenfried.com

Events

Patrick J. Kennedy will be making appearances to support the release of the book.

To see a full listing of his appearances, visit Facebook.

See All Events

Media Gallery

Affiliated Organizations

Patrick J. Kennedy is the founder of The Kennedy Forum and the co-founder of One Mind. They focus on improving the system of mental health care and addiction.

The Kennedy Forum seeks to unite the heath care system, and rally the mental health community around a common set of principles: Fully implement the 2008 parity law, bring business leaders and government agencies together to eliminate issues of stigma, work with providers to guarantee equal access to care, ensure that policymakers have the tools they need to craft better policy, and give consumers a way to understand their rights.

One Mind is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We are dedicated to benefiting all affected by brain illness and injury through fostering fundamental changes that will radically accelerate the development and implementation of improved diagnostics, treatments and cures - while eliminating the stigma that comes with mental illness.