Kennedy became the youngest member of his family to hold elected office when, in 1988, he won election to the Rhode Island House of Representatives at age 21. After serving two terms in the House serving District 9 in Providence, Kennedy went on to serve 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Rhode Island’s First District.
During his time in Washington, D.C., Kennedy carved out a name for himself by authoring and co-sponsoring dozens of bills to increase understanding and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including the National Neurotechnology Initiative Act, the Genomics and Personalized Medicine Act, the COMBAT PTSD Act, and more.
Kennedy has openly discussed his struggles with depression and bipolar disorder for much of his life and in 2008, he brought his passion for mental health research and advocacy into the spotlight when he co-authored and was the lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity & Addictions Equity Act. This legislation, which was the largest that he and his father worked on together, provides tens of millions of Americans who were previously denied care with access to mental health treatment.
Life After Politics
He currently resides in Brigantine, New Jersey with his wife, sixth-grade history teacher Amy Kennedy. There, they live with his step daughter Harper and their first son, Owen. Patrick and Amy are expecting another child, to be born this November.