Founded in 2013 by former U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.), The Kennedy Forum is leading the fight to transform health care by uniting mental health advocates, business leaders and government agencies around a common set of principles.
On February 6, The Kennedy Forum held Agenda for Change: Unite. Connect. Act. in the historic Kennedy Caucus Room on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. With more than 350 people in attendance, this event brought together policymakers, philanthropist, mental health experts and consumer advocates to discuss collaborative solutions to America’s struggling mental health and addiction care systems.
With 1 in 5 American adults living with mental illness, 1 in 12 living with addiction, and rates of suicide and overdose at an all-time high, it’s clear that America is facing one of the most significant public health crises in history. While we have seen progress in recent years, far too many American communities still lack access to affordable mental health and addiction care—a reality that The Kennedy Forum and similar organizations are working to change. Representatives from the Well Being Trust and Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania discussed new guides for policymakers and philanthropists – Healing the Nation and Health in Mind, respectfully. Additionally, Michael Thompson of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions discussed an employer initiative to support the mental health of employees across many sectors.
During Thursday’s program, attendees heard from Rep. Patrick Kennedy, former U.S. Sen. Gordon H. Smith (R-OR), U.S. Reps. Judy Chu (D-CA) and David Trone (D-MD), former acting administrator for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Andy Slavitt, president and CEO of OneMind Brandon Staglin and Daniel Gillison, CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
To learn more about the programs and initiatives discussed during the Agenda for Change program, please visit The Kennedy Forum’s website at https://bit.ly/2S26IGH.