Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Kennedy Reminds Voters About Importance of Mental Health Care

By: Araba Okyire

CHARLOTTE, N.C.–Patrick Kennedy, on Tuesday called on Congress to come together in the fight against mental health illnesses in the country since they can affect anyone regardless of political party affiliation.

Kennedy, the son of the late Ted Kennedy and stalwart of the Democratic Party, was speaking at the Recovery Caucus at the Democratic Convention in Charlotte. The event was organized by Mecklenburg’s Promise Wellness Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Kennedy, himself a victim of mental health, stressed the need for voters to re-elect President Obama to ensure adequate attention to the health care his dad passionately supported before his death. Congress passed the American Affordable Care Act about two
years ago amidst controversy and protests from the GOP.

“Vote for the right administration that will pass the right policies that will not ostracize or stigmatize mental health victims but make sure they receive the comprehensive treatment needed with dignity and respect,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy touched on the rise in the number of post-traumatic stress disorders among veterans and said high suicide continues to claim the lives of more American soldiers after they return from duty than when in service. PTSD are the hidden wounds of war.  Kennedy said that veterans with lost limbs, arms and legs receive treatment, and “we need to put a face and voice on mental illness and give it the appropriate attention it requires.”

“Our young men die from the ‘invisible wounds’ from war because they do not have the appropriate health coverage they deserve after putting their lives on line for their country,” Kennedy said.

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