Patrick Kennedy advocates breaking mental health stigmas

He spoke in Boca Raton for Jewish Family Services
Posted at 7:01 PM, Feb 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-23 19:01:16-05

Former Congressman Patrick came to Palm Beach County to raise awareness for the need for mental health care reform.

"We need to make sure that the brain is treated like any other organ of the body and that our healthcare system not exclude mental health from overall health," said Kennedy.

WPTV's Glenn Glazer emceed the “Reflections of Hope” luncheon hosted by Rales Jewish Family Services at Boca West Country Club on Feb. 23, 2017.

Kennedy said he left politics when he was able to confront his own addiction and come to terms with mental illness in his family.

He's now on a mission to advocate for mental health care.

"Floridians are being discriminated against in their insurance when their insurance doesn't pay for mental health and addiction in the same way that it pays for medical and surgical care," said Kennedy.

Kennedy says he is calling on all state attorneys, including Pam Bondi, to investigate patients being denied access to insurance for mental health care.

The Mental Health Parity Act is in place for people to get that coverage, according to Kennedy.

He said he is calling on a political movement to enforce the act.