NOW Campaign is a non-partisan, nationwide movement to drive solutions for mental health and addiction. Through the campaign, Americans are rallying together to engage our presidential candidates, policymakers, and business leaders to create lasting change in the way that mental health and addiction are viewed and treated in our health care system and all parts of our society. Our combined efforts will ensure that Americans receive the care and services they need.
NOW Campaign will run targeted and expansive mobilization, conducting digital and ground campaigns in each of the primary states – including Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina – and beyond. By creating a vehicle for millions of Americans to make their voices heard, we are building an unprecedented grassroots movement to make mental health and addiction one of the top domestic priorities in 2016. Through our shared experiences, a united passion and evidence-based policy, we will lay the groundwork for lasting change.
The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the nation’s leading political voice on mental illness, addiction, and other brain diseases. During his 16-year career representing Rhode Island in Congress, he fought a national battle to end medical and societal discrimination against these 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.
The son of Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy, he decided to leave Congress not long after his father’s death to devote his career to advocacy for brain diseases and to create a new, healthier life and start a family. He has since founded the Kennedy Forum, which unites the community of mental health, and co-founded One Mind for Research, a global leader in open science collaboration in brain research. Kennedy is also the co-author of “A Common Struggle,” which outlines a bold plan for the future of mental health and addiction in America.
Patrick lives in New Jersey with his wife, Amy, and their three (soon to be four) children.
Jim Ramstad, Co-Chair
Representative Jim Ramstad served as a Member of Congress from Minnesota from 1991 until 2009. He was a Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Chairman of the IRS Oversight Committee. Jim also co-chaired the Addiction Treatment and Recovery Caucus, Disabilities Caucus, Law Enforcement Caucus, and Medical Technology Caucus. Former Congressman Ramstad was chief co-sponsor of the landmark Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Parity Act, which became law in 2008. Jim was named “Legislator of the Year” by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Counselors in 1998, by the National Mental Health Association in 1999, and by the National Association of Police Organizations in 1997 and 2000. Ramstad is also the 1998 recipient of the Fulbright Distinguished Public Service Award.