Lamar Odom’s cry for help illustrates value of mental health care, coverage

There is a greater emphasis on recognizing and receiving treatment for issues such as grief, anxiety, and depression, all of which fall under the umbrella of mental health.

There is a greater emphasis on recognizing and receiving treatment for issues such as grief, anxiety, and depression, all of which fall under the umbrella of mental health.

Lamar Odom is in critical condition in a Las Vegas hospital after reportedly losing consciousness while indulging in a weekend filled with drugs, all while battling untreated mental illness.

Lamar Odom is in critical condition in a Las Vegas hospital after reportedly losing consciousness while indulging in a weekend filled with drugs, all while battling untreated mental illness.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

As people flock to social media to offer prayers for former NBA star Lamar Odom, who won two championships with the LA Lakers and is now fighting for his life in a Las Vegas hospital, his struggles with drug addiction and untreated mental illness have surfaced.

 

Mental Health Awareness week was October 5 – 10, but the importance of receiving the necessary treatment for mental health issues cannot be understood in a week. There have been concerted efforts by many advocates and associations to preach the significance of addressing issues that impact mental health and encourage individuals to seek help, instead of suffering in silence.

Mental Health awareness week may have just ended but the issue of dealing with mental health issues is a daily struggle for many.

Mental Health Awareness Week just ended but the issue of dealing with mental health issues is a daily struggle for many.

One of the major impediments to receiving mental health treatment is the perception that the treatment is too expensive.

Many people are unaware that most health insurance plans now include mental health care as part of the basic plan. In fact, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, mental health can no longer be used to exclude individuals from coverage.

new adAccording to Healthcare.gov, “all Marketplace plans cover mental health and substance abuse services as essential health benefits.”
All healthcare plans must cover:
•Behavioral health treatment, such as psychotherapy and counseling
•Mental and behavioral health inpatient services
•Substance use disorder (commonly known as substance abuse) treatment

These inclusions are designed to reduce the financial impact of receiving treatment for many issues that fall under the umbrella of mental health. Among those issues that qualify as mental health concerns are grief, anxiety, and depression as well as other more severe diagnoses.

A list of diagnoses covered under mental health.

A list of diagnoses covered under mental health.

The other huge impediment to receiving mental health treatment is the stigma many feel is associated with being diagnosed with a mental illness.

This concern is recognized as being a considerable problem in the African-American community which is why education and awareness is so vital with this issue. Untreated mental health conditions can lead to suicidal and homicidal thoughts and actions.

Acknowledging that there are personal problems that are beyond your understanding is a good step in the right direction. The next step is to contact your insurance advisor and make sure you have a plan in place to deal with mental health concerns.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr., your Insurance Advisor, is a senior writer at OnPointPress.net and a Licensed Insurance Professional working with HealthMarkets. 

Contact me directly at (646)309-1938 for your health insurance questions and concerns

My Brother’s Keeper initiative expands with funding, support (Part II)

NBA Players Association president Chris Paul attended to announce the NBA's involvement in MBK and introduce President Obama to the crowd.

NBA Players Association President Chris Paul attended to announce the NBA’s involvement in My Brother’s Keeper (MBK ) and introduce President Obama to the crowd.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

On July 21, President Obama provided another update about the progress he has made in attracting new support for the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative, which was launched earlier this year. Several new partnerships were announced to demonstrate the growth of the initiative since it has been signed earlier this year. Among the most recognizable partners announced was the NBA, who teamed up with MENTOR, to announce a five-year-commitment to the initiative.

President Obama addressed the crowd to share updates on the My Brother's Keeper initiative.

President Obama addressed the crowd to share updates on the My Brother’s Keeper initiative.

NBA Players Association President Chris Paul, who plays for the Los Angeles Clippers, attended the event and shared his views on the importance of the initiative. Paul’s statement before he introduced President Obama to the audience said:

“This is our opportunity to stand together as athletes, parents, mentors, and as leaders in our communities, to show our young men and boys of color with our actions that we are behind them and that their success matters.”

President Obama surrounded by participants in the My Brothers Keeper Initiative when it was initially launched.

President Obama surrounded by participants in the My Brothers Keeper Initiative when it was initially launched.

Some other notable partners announced were AT&T, The College Board, Citi Foundation, and Discovery Communications. In total, over $100 million is expected to be contributed by the growing list of partners to the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. That makes roughly $300 million committed towards providing services, mentorship, and opportunities through the MBK initiative.

President Obama shared his personal experience as he announced the growing list of collaborators  to the MBK initiative.

President Obama shared his personal experience as he announced the growing list of collaborators to the MBK initiative.

President Obama shared his personal experiences as a way to further demonstrate the necessity for the program:

“When I was in my teens, I didn’t have a father in the house. It took me a while to realize that I was angry about that, and I acted out in some ways. I was raised by a single mom. We didn’t have a lot in terms of wealth, although we had a lot of love in the house and my grandparents helped out. But despite their best efforts, sometimes I made some bad choices. I didn’t always take school as serious as I should have. I made excuses sometimes for misbehavior. The only difference between me and extraordinarily talented young men that I see all across the country is I was living in a pretty forgiving environment.

President Obama is joined by his adviser Valerie jarett and US Attorney Eric Holder in discussing the importance of My Brothers Keeper.

President Obama is joined by his adviser Valerie Jarrett and US Attorney Eric Holder in discussing the importance of My Brothers Keeper.

So that’s why, earlier this year, we launched what we call My Brother’s Keeper. My Brother’s Keeper isn’t some new, big government program. It’s actually a team effort. It’s all about a whole bunch of folks — educators, business leaders, faith leaders, foundations, government — all working together to give boys and young men of color the tools that they need to succeed and make sure that every young person can reach their potential. And so the reason that we’re here today is to announce some of the pledges that have already been made, some of the commitments that have already been made by a series of institutions that just give you a sense of the kind of progress and excitement that we’ve seen since we launched this initiative.”–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

Sterling scandal exposes serious NAACP hypocrisy, dysfunction

leon jenkins

Leon Jenkins resigned from his post as president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP on Thursday, in what should be the first of several resignations due to the Donald Sterling debacle.

Los Angeles National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) President Leon Jenkins’ resignation on Thursday, in wake of the Donald Sterling scandal was too little, too late. It is clear that Jenkins has shown very poor judgment and that his actions were a blight on the venerable civil rights organization since there is no possible scenario under which Sterling could ever have been an accurate representation of the NAACP’s values, mission and scope. No scenario at all.

Leon Jenkins, sterling

Leon Jenkins former president of the LA chapter of the NAACP poses with Clippers Owner Donald Sterling who expressed anger that his female companion “associate with black people.”

The NAACP has a long, distinguished tradition of advocating for the rights of African-Americans and other minority groups who are on the periphery of society’s wealth and opportunities. That goal has been the fundamental mission of the organization since its inception, which is why the mentality of the Los Angeles chapter, under Jenkins’ leadership, is such a disgrace.

Jenkins, sterling

NAACP’s Leon Jenkins honors Donald Sterling who is flanked by his wife.

When the tapes surfaced of Sterling’s’ racist diatribe against blacks, emotions became heated as blacks and other minorities boiled in anger. But another significant fact that was not as publicized was that Jenkins and his team were planning to honor Sterling with a second Lifetime Achievement Award next week. The chapter had previously given Sterling two awards in 2008 and 2009, one of which was a Lifetime Award, which of course raises the question: How many lifetimes does Sterling have?

Sterling is a real estate tycoon, in addition to owning the Los Angeles Clippers and he settled a housing discrimination lawsuit brought by the Justice Department in 2006 for $2.7 million due to his refusal to rent housing units to minorities. At the time, Sterling said “Hispanics smoke, drink and just hang around the building” while “Black tenants smell and attract vermin.”  Yet the Los Angeles Chapter of the NAACP felt he was deserving of an award in 2008.

elgin baylor

Elgin Baylor served the Clippers for 22 years then filed a lawsuit in 2010 accusing owner Donald Sterling of a range of distasteful racist conduct and sentiments. Baylor lost in court.

Not to be outdone by his venomous disdain for minorities, Sterling continued a reign of terror resulting in Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor filing a wrongful termination lawsuit against him, after being with the Clippers for 22 years as a woefully underpaid general manager, earning $250,000 per year, compared to the millions paid to other executives in similar positions industry-wide. In his lawsuit, Baylor accused Sterling of a “plantation mentality.”

Some-People-Are-Calling-for-L.A.-NAACP-President-Leon-Jenkins-to-Step-Down (2)

According to Baylor, Sterling would parade women into the Clippers’ locker room to look at the “fine black bodies” of the players. Also, according to Baylor, Sterling staunchly refused to hire black coaches because he wanted to “have white a Southern coach coaching poor black players.” Again, such actions so impressed the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP that the leadership awarded Sterling with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. To say this is an appalling display of poor judgment is a gross understatement.

Appearing on Don Lemon’s program on CNN last weekend, political analyst and news host Ben Ferguson did not mince words “The NAACP should be ashamed of itself for honoring Donald Sterling given his long history of racism,” he said. We at OnPointPress.net could not agree more with Mr. Ferguson, who boldly said what many did not. What could Jenkins and his leadership have been thinking? Were they not thinking at all?

leon jenkins

Leon Jenkins at press conference on 4/28/2014 announcing that he is rescinding the second Lifetime Achievement Award he and his chapter planned to give to Donald Sterling.

In a precursor to his overdue resignation, Jenkins held a press conference on April 28 and said the following: “The revelations that Mr. Sterling may have made comments in a phone conversation that was reminiscent of the ugly time in American history that contained elements of segregation and racial discrimination demand that the NAACP’s intention to honor Mr. Sterling for lifetime body of work must be withdrawn and the donation that he has given tot he LA NAACP will be returned.”

Jenkins gets no points for withdrawing an award that should never have been a thought in the minds of those trusted to lead such an important organization. This effort to lavish Sterling with multiple NAACP awards represents a huge stain on the mission and reputation of the NAACP and more resignations should be announced as that chapter cleans house and returns to its noble roots.-OnPointPress.net. 

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