Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy says “my heart goes out to him ” as he reveals details of an emotional meeting with Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr at the Mayo Clinic.
Kennedy, who was treated at the same facility for depression, notes the two have many similarities.
“Both of our fathers were famous fathers, both of us choose to go into public life, both of us suffer from major depression,” says Kennedy.
Kennedy is the first, outside of the Jackson family to offer a window to Jackson’s illness.
“This clinical depression is life threatening. It takes 36 thousand Americans every year to suicide. It’s an epidemic in this country. Thankfully for us, for those of us who love Jesse, he’s getting the help that he needs,” says Kennedy.
Clearly Jackson is wrestling with what to do about his political career. Kennedy says “when he returns, and I’m confident he will return. But if he should choose to lead a more personal life, I will be there with him.” Kennedy choose not to run for congress in 2010 and now speaks out for mental health awareness.
He adds “I assured him, that even getting out of politics is not an exit from a very productive life.”