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Texas State University
Texas State University

Patrick J. Kennedy

Former U.S. Representative and Co-Founder of One Mind
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 · Evans Auditorium · 7 p.m.

Patrick Joseph Kennedy II, co-founder of One Mind for Research and son of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, will deliver the LBJ Distinguished Lecture Tuesday, Oct. 8 as part of the Common Experience at Texas State University.

Kennedy served as the U.S. representative from Rhode Island’s first district for 16 years and authored and co-authored numerous mental health bills. Kennedy has called for “… a national conversation on mental health that will allow us to finally remove the stigma surrounding mental illness and continue tackling a number of pressing mental health challenges.”

His presence at Texas State coincides with the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s Community Mental Health Act that laid groundwork for mental health policies in the United States today. Four years later, Texas State alumnus President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Mental Health Amendments of 1967 that furthered mental health services in the United States.

Kennedy himself received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder during his time in public service and has published a memoir that details his struggles with alcoholism, drug addiction and depression. He cites the passion he feels towards ending the stigma of mental health as the reason he left political life although his departure in 2010 marked the first time in 63 years that a member of the Kennedy family held a federal office.

In 2010, following the loss of his father which prompted his subsequent decision not to run for congress, Kennedy co-founded One Mind for Research. One Mind for Research is a non-profit organization involved in numerous aspects related to mental illness and brain injury including research, funding, marketing and public awareness. One of its main initiatives is to create portals for shared scientific data to more effectively communicate mental health research. He also serves on the national advisory committee for Active Minds, a student advocacy group focused on changing the conversation about mental health on college campuses.

—Adapted from the original event program distributed at Patrick J. Kennedy's LBJ Distinguished Lecture