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Kennedy "glad" Jackson is focusing on health

Associated Press Modified: November 21, 2012 at 4:16 pm •  Published: November 21, 2012

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy says he's pleased that his friend U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has chosen to place his mental health above his political career.

Kennedy said Wednesday in a statement that Jackson's decision to step down means he can focus on his "serious mental health issues." Kennedy says he's confident that Jackson can get better with treatment.

Since leaving Congress last year, Kennedy has focused on mental health advocacy. He has talked openly about his own battles with bipolar disorder.

Kennedy met with Jackson last summer at Minnesota's Mayo Clinic, where Jackson was receiving treatment.

The two Democrats served together on the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services.