Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center Applauds Announcement of Patrick Kennedy Memoir

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New Memoir Announced by Patrick Kennedy Helps Break the Stigma of Mental Illness

Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center

Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center

We hope Kennedy’s book sparks a substantial public discussion that can lead to improvements in access and opportunity for treatment.

Announced earlier this month, Patrick Kennedy’s new memoir, A Common Struggle: A Very Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction, will bring more attention to bipolar disorder and addiction, something mental health center experts say can only be positive.

“Mental illness is the least publicly talked about area of medicine,” said Ben Brafman, mental health expert and founder of the Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center, a mental health treatment facility in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “In reality, mental illness directly affects almost every American family. Former Congressman Kennedy’s new book will help keep the light shining on mental illness and substance abuse.”

The former Rhode Island Congressman has been open about his struggle with addiction and mental illness after a car accident in 2006. Kennedy pushed for the passage of the 2008 Mental Health Parity Act, which requires insurance companies to provide equal coverage for mental illness and physical illness. The Parity Act gave many Americans mental health insurance benefits for the first time and expanded the opportunity for treatment.

“Any time a celebrity or high profile individual can help shine the light on addiction or mental illness it sparks more discussion and helps inspire others to seek help from a mental health center,” said Brafman. “We hope Kennedy’s book sparks a substantial public discussion on the state of mental illness treatment and addiction treatment in America that can lead to improvements in access and opportunity for treatment.”

Other celebrities that have spoken about their personal struggles with bipolar disorder include actress Catherine Zeta Jones, journalist Jane Pauley and musician Demi Lovato.

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that one in four adults experience mental health disorder in a given year. The most common mental health disorders include depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Treatment for mental illness at a mental health center often includes a combination of behavioral health therapies and medication.

Kennedy’s book is expected to be published in 2015.


The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center is a full service mental health facility located in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Dedicated to helping individuals who suffer from mental illness find a path to living better, The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center offers a mental health program and support for a wide variety of mood and thought disorders including: depression, anxiety disorders, anger management, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. For more information on mental health treatment please contact The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center at 1-888-205-2775 or online at

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Alton Smith
since: 11/2012
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