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A Greater Obligation to Do More: A Conversation with Patrick Kennedy, Congressman, Advocate, Author


Growing up with the Kennedy last name, our guest today was no stranger to larger than life pressure and responsibility, and grief and addiction. Throughout his career, Patrick decided to use his famous moniker to highlight the changes that needed and still need to happen in healthcare in regards to mental health and addiction.

Welcome to this episode of What Unites Us, a podcast about building businesses meant to last. We aim to answer some of the toughest questions about branding, leadership, and success while talking to business trailblazers about their biggest lessons learned.

Today, we welcome Patrick Kennedy, politician and mental health and substance use advocate. Patrick talks to us about his start in politics, his familial background with addiction, and what he believes needs to change in substance use and mental health care.

In this episode, you will learn: 

  • Patrick’s political origin story (2:14)
  • Patrick’s background with mental health and addiction (6:14)
  • What Patrick believes should change when treating addiction (11:52)
  • A compromise between those who want to restrict information sharing and those who don’t (16:21)
  • What could change if we treat the stigma behind mental illness and addiction (18:55)
  • Patrick’s tips for those who want to use their voice for advocacy (23:55)
  • What’s wrong with healthcare and how to fix it (27:25)

Connect with Patrick Kennedy: 

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Episode Credits:
Produced by Ginni Media and Unite Us
Original music by Starling Studios

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All opinions expressed by podcast guests are solely those of the guest and do not reflect the opinions of Unite Us.

About Unite Us

Unite Us is the nation’s leading software company bringing sectors together to improve the health and well-being of communities. We drive the collaboration to identify, deliver, and pay for services that impact whole-person health. Through Unite Us’ national network and software, community-based organizations, government agencies, and healthcare organizations are all connected to better collaborate to meet the needs of the individuals in their communities.