Stopping the Mental Health Stigma

One of the many challenges of recovery that mental health patients face is the stigma surrounding their need for help. In this article shared by Med City News, Patrick Kennedy, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, discusses this issue surrounding the mentally ill. As a high-profile figure, he struggled to hide his addiction and attempted to find treatment that wouldn’t publicly expose him to ridicule. Kennedy urged the audience at the 2017 American Telemedicine Association conference to continue to push for telemedicine as the answer for mental health patients. Telemedicine allows for an extra layer of privacy and can help to bridge the gap, providing the mentally ill with the help that they need in a way that’s both appealing and effective.

The following article is originally featured on

“That’s what these illnesses do to people. They isolate them, they disconnect them. The silence is our biggest challenge.”

These are the words of Patrick J. Kennedy, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and one of the nation’s leading advocates in mental health and addiction. In his speech at the American Telemedicine Association’s 2017 conference, Kennedy touched not only on how telemedicine can be used for mental health patients, but also on his personal mental health journey.

“There’s a systematic discrimination of people with mental illness in this country,” he said. And Kennedy knows it full well. His father, Senator Ted Kennedy, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, while his mother Joan suffered from depression and alcoholism. But these issues were constantly brushed under the rug in his household. “We didn’t talk about anything that was important as it relates to brain health,” he said.

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