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May Pick of the Month: “Profiles in Mental Health Courage” by Patrick J. Kennedy and Stephen Fried

  • By Staff

WITF is partnering with Midtown Scholar Bookstore on a Pick of the Month. Read along and discover books we think you’ll like. May’s pick is Profiles in Mental Health Courage by Patrick J. Kennedy and Stephen Fried.

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.

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