Why We Must Advocate For Change

Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy

More than fifty years ago, my uncle, John F. Kennedy, rallied the nation to dream big. He challenged us to reach the moon in a decade. Bring mental illness out of the shadows. Engage the world beyond our borders. Create positive change in our communities. 

In other words, he was asking all of us to advocate for change—get off the sidelines and into the game. Make our country better one neighborhood, and one issue, at a time. 

His challenge was the catalyst for a new generation of leaders, and served as an important prelude to today’s advocacy campaigns, like the ones Shatterproof champions. These efforts, rooted in the power of collective action, have set new standards and engaged more deeply than the young president could have imagined. 

Advocacy with a purpose is what I have been actively involved with for my entire life. While in Congress, I authored the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. This legislation, also known as the “parity bill,” guarantees equal access to mental health and addiction services for all Americans. How did we get it passed? More than goodwill, of which we had plenty. 

What made a difference were the tens of thousands of advocates on the national, state, and local levels. People from around the country who said “enough was enough.” People who, themselves, had been affected by addiction or mental illness. Family members who needed support. Concerned citizens from all walks of life who asked, like generations before, what they could do for their country. They banded together and made change happen.

Shatterproof understands the importance of advocating for change and knows exactly what is needed to keep the promise of the parity law alive, active, and moving forward. Shatterproof knows advocacy works, and that it’s both the lifeblood and backbone of better public policy. We need Shatterproof doing what it’s doing, bringing people together to create change, and a better tomorrow for millions of Americans.