Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy pays visit to Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
CHICAGO (MCT) — Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy on Thursday visited Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who is being treated at the Mayo Clinic for bipolar disorder, a clinic spokeswoman said.
“They did have a private visit and they weren’t doing any media around it,” said Mayo spokeswoman Traci Klein. “That’s all we were told about it.”
Kennedy, a former Democratic congressman from Rhode Island, has long discussed his struggles with bipolar disorder and addiction. After a much-publicized car accident on Capitol Hill in 2006, Kennedy was treated at Mayo for an addiction to painkillers. A son of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy now serves as an advocate on mental health issues.
Jackson, D-Ill., has been on medical leave since June 10. The Mayo Clinic announced this week that Jackson has bipolar II depression, which is the milder form of the disorder.
Jackson is up for re-election Nov. 6, but aides have given no timetable for his return to work.
Kennedy told The Associated Press on Thursday that he and Jackson met for more than an hour. He said Jackson is facing a deep depression and has a lot of work ahead of him to reach a full recovery, according to the AP. Kennedy did not immediately respond to a Chicago Tribune call for comment.
Sandi Jackson, wife of the congressman, issued a statement about Kennedy through spokesman Kevin Lampe: “My husband is grateful for his friendship. He and Jesse have a long history in Congress together.”