Profiles in Mental Health Courage (Hardcover)

Profiles in Mental Health Courage By Patrick J. Kennedy, Stephen Fried Cover Image
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Profiles in Mental Health Courage portrays the dramatic journeys of a diverse group of Americans who have struggled with their mental health. This book offers deeply compelling stories about the bravery and resilience of those living with a variety of mental illnesses and addictions.

Several years ago, Patrick J. Kennedy shared the story of his personal and family challenges with mental illness and addiction—and the nation’s—in his bestselling memoir, A Common Struggle. Now, he and his Common Struggle coauthor, award-winning healthcare journalist Stephen Fried, have crafted this powerful new book sharing the untold stories of others—a special group who agreed to talk about their illnesses, treatments, and struggles for the first time.

When Kennedy’s uncle, President John F. Kennedy, published his classic book Profiles in Courage, he hoped to inspire “political courage” by telling the stories of brave U.S. senators who changed America. 
In Profiles in Mental Health Courage, former Congressman Kennedy adapts his uncle’s idea to inspire the “mental health courage” it takes for those with these conditions to treat their illnesses, and risk telling their stories to help America face its crisis in our families, our workplaces, our jails, and on our streets. The resounding silence surrounding these illnesses remains persistent, and this book takes an unflinching look at the experience of mental illness and addiction that inspires profound connection, empathy, and action.
In this book, you’ll meet people of all ages, backgrounds, and futures, across politics and government, Hollywood and the arts, tech and business, sports and science—some recovering, some relapsing, some just barely holding on, but all sharing experiences and insights we need to better understand. You’ll also meet those trying to help them through—parents, siblings, spouses, therapists, bosses, doctors, and friends who create the extended families needed to support care and wellness.
The personal stories they share with Kennedy and Fried are intimate, sometimes shocking, always revealing. And they are essential reading for caregivers, family members, policymakers, and the general public—just as they are for those who often feel alone in experiencing these challenges themselves.

About the Author

Patrick J. Kennedy is a former member of the U.S. Congress, the nation’s leading political voice on mental illness, addiction, and other brain diseases, and the New York Times bestselling coauthor of A Common Struggle. During his sixteen-year career representing Rhode Island, he fought a national battle to end medical and societal discrimination against mental illnesses, highlighted by his lead sponsorship of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008—and his brave openness about his own health challenges. Soon after his father, Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy, passed away, he left Congress to devote his career to advocacy for mental health. He has since founded The Kennedy Forum, which unites the community of mental health, and cofounded One Mind for Research, as well as other nonprofit organizations addressing these issues. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, Amy, and their five children.

Stephen Fried is an award-winning journalist and New York Timesbestselling author who teaches at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Pennsylvania. He is, most recently, the author of the historical biography Appetite for America, and the coauthor, with Congressman Patrick Kennedy, of A Common Struggle. His earlier books include the biography Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia and the investigative books Bitter Pills and The New Rabbi. A two-time winner of the National Magazine Award, Fried has written frequently for Vanity Fair, GQ, The Washington Post Magazine, Rolling Stone, Glamour, and Philadelphia Magazine. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, author Diane Ayres.

Praise For…

Praise for Profiles in Mental Health Courage:

“I assumed that nothing in a book of essays about people struggling with their mental health could surprise me. Then I read … Patrick J. Kennedy’s Profiles in Mental Health Courage, written with Stephen Fried … about the complicated relationship between addiction and mental health … a former congressman with his own history of substance abuse and bipolar disorder, [he] introduces readers introduces readers to … people living with mental illness who are not only functioning, but helping others.” —Judith Newman, New York Times Book Review

Profiles in Mental Health Courage is a must read. I could not put it down. The stories of real families dealing with the messy, awful impacts of mental health and substance use are raw and unvarnished. It will make you want to do something about it.” —Kate Snow, NBC

“A heartrending portrait of mental illness and substance abuse disorder in America… [Patrick J. Kennedy and Stephen Fried] fulfill their mission to improve visibility for those struggling to get help, and take a step toward rectifying the widespread lack of understanding about mental illnesses and substance disorders, which they argue is ‘as big an epidemic as the diseases themselves’…a revealing window into an important and timely issue.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“An insightful, compelling book … that could alter perception of addiction, mental health and treatment in the U.S. … heartbreaking and inspiring.” —Kirkus

“Richly informative, harrowing, and moving, these courageously shared tales cast much-needed light on the many obstacles to mental health.” Booklist

Profiles in Mental Health Courage came about at the perfect time, when depression, bipolar disorder and other illnesses are at the forefront. Kennedy said it’s time for the conversation to start.” LA Downtown News

Profiles in Mental Health Courage is a miracle, a book that will help and heal and inspire. I honestly do not know how the authors did it, but their ability to get the participants to lay their souls bare in such intimate detail, is both remarkable and profound. So many books profess to help in the woefully misunderstood area of mental health: this one does in a way that is unprecedented, riveting, readable and rooted in humanity.” —Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights

"Powerful ... courageous ... amazing stories that could really change the way Americans understand and appreciate these illnesses, and enable us, finally, to talk to each other about them." —Michael Phelps

Profiles in Mental Health Courage is a great read, that will …. initiate those conversations that we’re scared to have." —Maria Shriver

"Teachers encounter students and families facing a variety of mental health conditions, including addiction. They’ll benefit from exploring the stories in this book, hopefully gaining empathy and understanding instead of feeling fear and dismissiveness." —We Are Teachers

“The book aims ‘to show, in great factual and emotional depth, just how challenging these illnesses are.’ It delivers.” —New York Journal of Books
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593471760
ISBN-10: 0593471768
Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: April 30th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English