The goal of the forum, which is headed by former member of Congress Patrick Kennedy, "is to unite the mental health community to engage in a national dialogue and to advocate for future breakthroughs in policies affecting those with mental illness, disabilities, and addictions."
Tonight's gala will be followed by several panel discussions tomorrow, including one on public health and community approaches to mental illness that will be moderated by Chelsea Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation. Summergrad will moderate a session on securing policy and measuring progress, and Lieberman will lead the conference's closing session on the future of mental health care and the prospects for fulfilling the goals of the 1963 Community Mental Health Act. Lieberman commented that "APA looks forward to future collaboration with Congressman Patrick Kennedy in working to secure a final parity rule and ensuring that our patients receive the quality mental health care that they need and deserve." Kennedy is a senior strategic advisor to APA.
Tonight's gala will be live streamed at 7:30 Eastern time, and a recording of the conference will be made available at www.thekennedyforum.org. Also see a commentary by Kennedy, John Greden, M.D., and Michelle Riba, M.D., in American Journal of Psychiatry titled "The Next 50 Years: A New Vision of 'Community Mental Health.' "