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Union League Club - Presidents Hall

65 West Jackson Boulevard

Chicago, IL 60604

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On Friday, April 5th, at Noon,

in the Presidents Hall of the Union League Club

The First Friday Club of Chicago

Welcomes

The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy

Former U.S. Congressman (D, R.I.)

Commissioner - President's Commission on

Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis

Topic Addressed:

“Challenging One of the Last Social Taboos –

Discrimination Against Mental Health, Addiction, and Other

Brain Diseases”

In a society today where almost anything goes, certain topics and issues are not discussed in polite company or even in private. Mental health and drug addiction lead the list.

We can talk about having cancer, ALS, acute diabetes, heart disease, anxiety, and high blood pressure, but we find it difficult, if not impossible, to admit to bipolar disorder, alcoholism, or chemical dependency. After all, people may think less of us. It could cost us our job or stand in the way of a promotion. The world sees a human weakness, not a neurological or psychiatric disease. In fact, it was only in 2010 that the Federal Parity Act began requiring health insurance companies to treat illnesses of the brain such as depression and addiction in the same way they treat illnesses of the body.

The standard-bearer and perhaps the person most responsible for challenging taboos around mental health and addictive diseases is former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, son of the late Senator Ted Kennedy. During his time in Congress, Kennedy sponsored and was the lead architect of the Federal Parity Act. And more than ten years ago, Patrick Kennedy broke his family’s code of silence when he publicly acknowledged having bipolar disorder and being a recovering alcoholic. As of 2018, Mr. Kennedy says he has been sober for more than six years.

Patrick Kennedy represented Rhode Island’s First Congressional District from 1995 through 2011, sponsoring dozens of bills to increase understanding and treatment of addiction and other brain disorders. Since leaving Congress in 2011, he founded the nonprofit Kennedy Forum to lead a national dialogue on mental health and addiction involving advocates, business, and government. Locally, Kennedy Forum Illinois works to end discrimination against people with mental health and addiction challenges here in our state. Kennedy also cofounded One Mind, an organization that funds “open science” research on brain diseases, encouraging scientists to widely share their findings about Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, addiction, depression, and other diseases. His 2015 book, A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction, chronicles his own struggles along with his political advocacy supporting mental health and addiction care.

Make your plans now to join us on April 5th where together, with former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, we confront the discrimination still lingering from one of the last social taboos--mental health, addiction, and other diseases of the brain. We look forward to seeing you at the Luncheon which starts at noon and ends promptly at 1:15pm.

Please make your reservation by Monday, April 1st , BEFORE 5PM. The lunch fee is $45 for members and $55 for non-members. There is no processing/registration fee to reserve online.

In the COMMENTS SECTION, indicate whether there is a group or person you wish to sit with and any dietary requirements. A hearing assistance kit is available upon request.

For additional information please call (312.466.9610), email ffcc@firstfridayclubchicago.org or visit our website at www.firstfridayclubchicago.org . THANK YOU!

LUNCHEON LOCATION:

All meetings are held at The Union League Club - Presidents Hall @ 65 West Jackson Blvd (1/2 block east of Clark

THE UNION LEAGUE CLUB DRESS CODE:

Business attire for women and a shirt with collar for men. NO TENNIS SHOES OR DENIM CLOTHING ALLOWED.

PARKING AT THE UNION LEAGUE CLUB:

Valet Parking available at the Federal Street Entrance. Self Parking available at the garage on the northwest corner of Federal and Van Buren. Special rates are available for guests with tickets that are validated at the Front Desk.

Discounted parking as low as $10 for All First Friday Club Attendees is also available for this same self park garage (South Loop Self Park, 318 S. Federal St, Chicago) through the iParkit Phone App. For more information on this special offer, click here

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION:

The Club is just two blocks from the LaSalle Street Metra Station, six blocks from Union Metra Station and only blocks away from every EL station.

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Union League Club - Presidents Hall

65 West Jackson Boulevard

Chicago, IL 60604

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