CHICAGO (CBS) — The son of the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy was in Chicago Thursday for an all-day conference on the topic of how we treat — or in many cases, fail to treat — mental illness.
“We can do better,” said former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, at Thursday’s launch of Kennedy Forum Illinois, a conference he helped organize to honor President Kennedy’s 1963 signing of the Community Mental Health Act.
Since leaving the House, Patrick Kennedy has devoted himself to the cause of improving the treatment of the mentally ill.
Kennedy said it’s a personal issue. Decades ago, his aunt Rosemary was lobotomized and hidden away, because of the social stigma from mental illness that caused erratic behavior and violent mood swings. He himself has struggled with alcohol addiction.