Cara Vaccarino, COO
Former U.S. Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy Joins EHN Canada’s Advisory Board
Lifelong Advocate for Those with Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders to Share Insights and Strategies for Increasing Access to Care
TORONTO, April 29, 2019—Patrick J. Kennedy recently joined the Edgewood Health Network (EHN Canada) Advisory Board to share key learnings from around the world regarding best practices for mental health and addiction treatment, as well as the dangers of legalized recreational cannabis. He is the son of former Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and nephew of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
As opioid-related deaths continue to devastate families across Canada—and legalized recreational cannabis brings about a whole new set of concerns—EHN Canada, the largest private network of adult residential and outpatient treatment services in Canada, is committed to setting new standards of excellence in the treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. The EHN Advisory Board provides essential guidance in doing just that.
During his 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving Rhode Island’s First Congressional District, Patrick J. Kennedy fought to end discrimination against those with mental illness, addiction, and other brain diseases. He is best known as the lead sponsor of the groundbreaking Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (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.
He is the founder of The Kennedy Forum, a nonprofit that aims to achieve health equity by advancing evidence-based practices, policies, and programming for the treatment of mental health and addiction; co-founder of One Mind, an organization that pushes for greater collaboration, research, and funding in brain research; co-founder of Psych Hub, an online learning platform containing free videos about mental health and addiction; and co-founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), an organization that educates citizens on the science of marijuana and promotes health-first, smart policies and attitudes that decrease marijuana use and its consequences. He is also a founding advisor of Advocates for Opioid Recovery, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing evidence-based treatment systems to reduce death and suffering from opioid addiction.
Kennedy is co-author of the New York Times bestseller, “A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction.” The narrative details his personal struggles, as well as his bold road map for the future of mental health and addiction care in America. In breaking his family’s “code of silence,” Kennedy openly challenged the stigma and shame commonly surrounding families trying to cope with mental illness or addiction.
In 2017, he served as a Commissioner on the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.
Kennedy continues to leverage his powerful family legacy to advance the cause of social justice and health equity for all. EHN Canada leadership is honoured to work with him and looks forward to collaborating on key issues pertaining to Canada’s system of mental health and addiction care.
“Ensuring those with mental health and substance use disorders have equal access to care is my life’s work,” said Kennedy. “I’m excited to be an advisory board member of EHN. They are really leading the way in terms of innovative treatment approaches and dedication to the communities they serve. Helping to make a difference for those with mental health and addiction challenges knows no borders for me.”
About Edgewood Health Network (EHN Canada)
As recognized leaders in addiction and mental health services, EHN Canada is committed to increasing access to treatment across the full continuum of care. EHN Canada has over 100 years of combined experience in treating mental health and substance use disorders and is the largest private network of adult residential and outpatient treatment services in Canada. The EHN philosophy of treatment is rooted in the following ideals: every patient deserves a personalized recovery process, therapeutic community is of the utmost importance, and ongoing, open-ended treatment is key to preventing relapse. To learn more, please visit www.edgewoodhealthnetwork.com.