Patrick J. Kennedy to Deliver Opening Remarks at NUSL Annual Health Law Conference: “Diseases of Despair” April 12 – 13

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Boston, Mass. / April 12-13, 2018 – The Center for Health Policy and Law at The Northeastern University School of Law (NUSL) will present “Diseases of Despair: The Role of Policy and Law.” The annual health law conference, taking place April 12-13 at Northeastern University, will address deaths from suicide, substance use, and overdose. Patrick J. Kennedy will deliver opening remarks.

Kennedy, the nation’s leading political voice on mental illness, addiction, and other brain diseases, will share his own struggles with mental health and addiction, and discuss the critical roles that policy and policy enforcement play in addressing inequities in treatment for mental illnesses and addiction.

According to The Center for Health Policy and Law, the conference will bring together experts, policymakers, and academics to discuss our nation’s escalating “deaths of despair,” and explore a multi-faceted approach to addressing root causes.

To register, please visit

The NUSL Annual Health Law Conference is additionally sponsored by The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.


About Patrick J. Kennedy:

Former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.) is a lifelong mental health advocate and member of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. He is the founder of The Kennedy Forum, a convening think tank tackling mental health and addiction issues and co-founder of One Mind, a global leader in open science collaboration for brain research. In 2015, he co-authored A Common Struggle, a New York Times best seller, which details his personal journey and provides a roadmap for the future of mental health policy. Mr. Kennedy is pushing for full enforcement of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. He was the lead sponsor of this groundbreaking legislation, which requires health plans cover mental health, eating disorder, and addiction care health benefits the same way they cover physical health benefits. To learn about Mr. Kennedy’s efforts, please visit