Renowned Mental Health Advocate Patrick J. Kennedy to Speak at Prevention Action Alliance’s Your Role in Prevention Luncheon

(Columbus, OH) – Prevention Action Alliance’s Your Role in Prevention Luncheon, set to take place on August 16th at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, has announced that Patrick J. Kennedy will be this year’s keynote speaker. Kennedy is a former member of Congress and a leading voice in the national conversation around mental health and substance misuse prevention.

During his time in Congress, Kennedy co-authored the landmark Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which requires insurers to cover treatment for mental health and substance use disorders no more restrictively than treatment for physical illnesses. In 2013, he founded The Kennedy Forum, a nonprofit that unites advocates, business leaders, and government agencies to advance evidence-based practices, policies, and programming in mental health and substance misuse.

Kennedy’s impressive list of accomplishments also includes co-authoring the New York Times Bestseller, “A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction” and serving on the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.

Patrick Kennedy’s goals and passions align directly with Prevention Action Alliance’s mission.  “We are honored to have Patrick Kennedy as our keynote speaker this year. Many of us have been touched by tragedy related to substance misuse or mental health – whether that is directly or indirectly, and we see its effects on the community,” said Fran Gerbig, Executive Director at Prevention Action Alliance. “When someone of Patrick Kennedy’s stature talks openly about mental health awareness, it helps pave the way for others to talk about it and find treatment. Mental health is key to achieving a goal all of us want – healthy families and communities.”

The Your Role in Prevention Luncheon is Prevention Action Alliance’s premier fundraiser raising awareness about the more than 2 million Ohioans who have a mental health or substance use disorder.  Evidence-based prevention strategies can provide up to $63 in benefits for every $1 invested[i], meaning that money raised through the luncheon will significantly impact Ohioans.

Luncheon sponsors include Origo Branding Company, Aetna Better Health of Ohio/Ohio RISE, AUI, DBT in Schools, and Paxis Institute. For information on becoming a sponsor, please email Alyce Jennings at

Tickets will go on sale May 8th for early bird and May 15th for regular pricing. For more information, visit our website at

Media Contact:
Leah Blewitt
Communications and Graphic Design Coordinator
614.540.9985 ext. 13 (o)
614.570.3964 (c)

About Prevention Action Alliance
Prevention Action Alliance is a non-profit organization leading healthy communities in the prevention of substance misuse and promotion of mental health wellness. Programs and initiatives include Campus Cents, The G.A.P. Network, Know! Prevention Tips, the Ohio College Initiative to Enhance Student Wellness, the Ohio Youth-Led Prevention Network, SMART Bet, and the Statewide Prevention Coalition Association. For more information on Prevention Action Alliance, please visit

[i]Washington State Institute for Public Policy; Benefit-Cost Model