Amy Kennedy and her husband former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy launched The Kennedy Forum, a nonprofit which leads a national dialogue on transforming the health care system by uniting mental health advocates, business leaders, and government agencies around a common set of principles, including full implementation of the Federal Parity Law, in 2013.
With over 15 years of experience working in public schools, Amy has seen first-hand how a child’s mental health and mental health literacy impacts their ability to learn and grow—not only in the classroom, but in life. Her experiences as a teacher and as a mother of five propel her efforts and advocacy around social-emotional learning and mental wellness for children and adolescents. Each day, Amy challenges herself and others to learn to address ACEs and other developmental roadblocks head on through thoughtful interventions and skill building.
Amy knows that by supporting educators and working with community partners to create robust mental health systems within our schools, it is possible to identify students’ needs and intervene early, while neuroplasticity is at its peak. Through strategies like social-emotional learning and integrated systems of care that meet students where they are, we have the power to improve educational, emotional, and health outcomes for all kids.
Amy serves on the National Advisory Board for JED Foundation, on the Board of Directors for Parity.org, and formerly on the Board of Directors for Mental Health America, now serving as an advisor. She is an advisory board member of Muse, a mental health technology company; and Brain Futures.
Amy and her husband live on the shores of southern New Jersey with their five children.
Our youth are struggling in very real ways. Yes, they are resilient, and many will bounce back. But the situation in front of us warrants action, not just hope and wishful thinking.