In 2015, Patrick J. Kennedy shared the story of his struggle with mental health and addiction in his bestselling memoir; now he reframes how we talk about mental well-being by sharing the powerful stories of others.
Profiles in Mental Health Courage portrays the journeys of twenty unique Americans who have struggled with different illnesses affecting mental health. This book offers deeply compelling stories about the courage of those battling with a variety of illnesses, from college students to professionals across politics and government, Hollywood and the arts, and tech and business. It follows people with a range of diagnoses, modes of treatment, and life experiences. Their personal stories are intimate, revealing, and just as essential reading for caregivers and family members as it is for readers experiencing these challenges themselves.
Kennedy’s uncle, President John F. Kennedy, wrote the classic and award-winning Profiles in Courage about eight senators’ selfless and brave acts that built the nation. In Patrick’s book, he uses that same approach to show that living with mental health challenges is about courage, not weakness. As the resounding silence that surrounds these illnesses remains persistent, this book takes an unflinching look at stories of the experience of mental illness and addiction that inspire profound connection, empathy, and action. This is a truthful book about the deeply worrisome, inescapable state of mental health in America, that will raise understanding, sympathy, and tolerance to a new level.
About the Authors:
Patrick J. Kennedy is a former member of the U.S. Congress, the nation’s leading political voice on mental illness, addiction and other brain diseases, and the New York Times bestselling co-author of A Common Struggle. During his 16-year career representing Rhode Island, he fought a national battle to end medical and societal discrimination against mental illnesses, highlighted by his lead sponsorship of the Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act of 2008—and his brave openness about his own health challenges. Soon after his father, Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy, passed away, he left Congress to devote his career to advocacy for mental health. He has since founded The Kennedy Forum, which unites the community of mental health, and co-founded One Mind for Research, which sponsors brain research and open science collaboration, as well as other non-profit organizations addressing these issues. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, Amy, and their five children.
Stephen Fried is an award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author who teaches at Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author, most recently, of the historical biographies RUSH and Appetite for America and co-author, with Congressman Patrick Kennedy, of A Common Struggle; his earlier books include Thing of Beauty, Bitter Pills and The New Rabbi. A two-time winner of the National Magazine Award, Fried has written frequently for Vanity Fair, GQ, The Washington Post Magazine, Glamour, and Philadelphia Magazine. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, author Diane Ayres.