WASHINGTON — On the eve of the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's Community Mental Health Act, mental health proponents are pushing to make sure Kennedy's goals are finally realized.
"I've seen the people that I love the most suffer the indignities of the shame that their physical illness caused them to endure," former congressman Patrick Kennedy told USA TODAY, speaking of mental health illnesses. "These are not just medical issues, these are civil rights issues. There's no other area in health care that is so persistently discriminated against."
This year, advocates say, that could change — or at least begin to. Here's why: