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

Have the New York Knicks learned from the Pat Riley saga?

The Knicks seemed poised to bring New York a championship in the 90's with the pairing of Pat Riley (l) and Patrick Ewing (r).

The Knicks seemed poised to bring New York a championship in the 90’s with the pairing of Pat Riley (l) and Patrick Ewing (r).

By Charles Glover Jr.

With rumors swirling that Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson is considering a front office position with, the New York Knicks, the team he once won a championship with as a player, the question that comes to mind is, can even he save this team? The Knicks’ franchise has a tortured recent history of mishaps and missteps that traces all the way back to 1995 when then head coach Pat Riley wanted final control over personnel matters. While it wasn’t clear at the time, the Knicks should have given in to his request.

Pat Riley is the only person in the 3 major sports to win a championship as a player, coach and an executive.

Pat Riley is the only person in the 3 major sports to win a championship as a player, coach and an executive.

The immediate aftermath of Riley’s acrimonious departure was actually favorable for the Knicks. The Miami Heat, where Riley signed on the day after turning down the Knicks contract extension offer, were found guilty of tampering and the Knicks would consistently get the better of the Heat in the several times the teams would meet in the playoffs between 1996 and 2001. However, the takeaway from Riley’s early tenure is that the Heat became immediate championship contenders shortly after his arrival as a head coach/president of operations. Meanwhile, the Knicks’ post-Riley experience peaked in 1999 with an upset of the Heat, with the Knicks as a #8 seed, and another unsuccessful trip to the NBA Finals. When Riley stepped down as head coach of the Heat in 2004 after a string of disappointing seasons, it was the beginning of a successful stretch of executive moves.

Riley is hoping to be at the helm of a 4th championship for the Miami Heat.

Riley is hoping to be at the helm of a 4th championship for the Miami Heat.

Riley has made some smart decisions in the NBA Draft, taking players like Eddie House, Caron Butler, Dwayne Wade, and Mario Chalmers, all players that have helped the Heat teams win championships. Riley is more known for his ability to attract free agents and make significant trades. In 1996, Riley traded for Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway, then signed key free agents like Jamal Mashburn, P.J. Brown, and Dan Majerle over the next couple of seasons to make that team a championship contender. In 2004, Riley signed Lamar Odom, then used him in a trade, along with a draft pick, Caron Butler, and Brian Grant, to acquire Shaquille O’Neal from the Los Angeles Lakers. However, Riley will forever be linked to successfully convincing LeBron James to take his “talents to South Beach” when James, Wade, and Chris Bosh all joined forces in the summer of 2010. The signing of Ray Allen proved that Riley possesses the ability to convince high quality players that championships can be had if they join his team.

Will Phil Jackson become as legendary as an executive as he is a coach?

Will Phil Jackson become as legendary as an executive as he is a coach?

As Knicks fans jump for joy with the possibility of Phil Jackson taking over as president of basketball operations, there is a lesson to be learned from the Riley saga. As successful as Riley has been with the Heat, it took him 10 years to bring that franchise a championship. It took another six years and the best player in the NBA to win the second championship. There’s no doubt that the Knicks would have to be better with Jackson at the helm, as long as James Dolan stays completely out-of-the-way.

But, if Jackson’s goal is to bring a championship to New York, that does not seem to be on the way any time soon, based on NBA trends. So Knicks fans should temper their expectations regarding Jackson’s final decision and ask this question instead: Have the Knicks really learned from the Pat Riley saga, or is this just more of the same, with a so-called executive in charge on paper and Dolan meddling as usual behind the scenes?.–OnPointPress.net–

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

 

Emotional, physical health equally important for athletes

Mike Tyson recently admitted he's been untruthful about his recovery and he still struggles with alcoholism.

Mike Tyson recently admitted that he’s been untruthful about his recovery. He said that he still struggles with alcoholism.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Athletes are often revered for their exceptional physical gifts and spectacular performances, yet many athletes are less successful in conquering their emotional issues and the subsequent struggles that accompany those problems. Alcoholism, drug abuse and violent outbursts are symptoms of unresolved emotional issues that unfortunately have troubled  many revered athletes across the vast sports landscape.

Former Olympic figure skater Tanya Harding

Former Olympic figure skater Tanya Harding, who assaulted her competitor Nancy Kerrigan with a bat, injuring her knee.

Whether its retired boxer Mike Tyson, former NBA star Allen Iverson and Lamar Odom, who has no current NBA team, there are many athletes who have had prolonged public battles with emotional issues.

There is still a large segment of the population that believes that seeking help for emotional issues should still be reserved for extreme cases only. The same belief often exists when dealing with drug and alcohol problems as well.

Former MLB pitcher Dwight Gooden released his autobiography in June 2013 detailing his numerous struggles with addiction while dealing with personal and professional success and failures.

Former MLB pitcher Dwight Gooden released his autobiography in June 2013 detailing his numerous struggles with addiction while dealing with personal and professional success and failures.

 

 

The result of this unhelpful attitude towards mental and emotional health are the numerous are seen in questionable conduct shown by troubled athletes. Mike Tyson, Dwight Gooden, JaMarcus Russell, Tanya Harding, and current NBA players Lamar Odom and Michael Beasley have all had brushes with infamy due to untreated issues. The recurring theme of legal, financial and personal struggles that these athletes have experienced has a direct link to their approach to addressing their myriad of emotional issues.

Oscar De la Hoya's issue with substance abuse resurfaced as he checked himself back into rehab just days before the mega fight featuring Floyd Mayweather on Sept. 14,2013 that De la Hoya's Golden Boy company helped promote.

Oscar De La Hoya’s struggles with substance abuse resurfaced  recently. He checked himself back into rehab just days before the mega fight featuring Floyd Mayweather on Sept. 14,2013 that De La Hoya’s Golden Boy company helped promote.

There is no guarantee that addressing emotional issues will result in complete recovery. in fact, it is likely there will be relapses because relapse is a part of the recovery process. Oscar De La Hoya had to admit himself into rehab for his continued struggle with recovering from drug abuse. Jason Kidd is largely past the issues that landed him in trouble with the law. However, Kidd was arrested for suspicion of DUI during last year’s NBA off-season. Emotional issues are commonly dealt with by excessive drug and alcohol abuse as sufferers have not been able to find a productive manner in which to cope with their issues.

Lamar Odom has seen his current problems with substance abuse become front page news over the past several weeks.

Lamar Odom has seen his current problems with substance abuse become front page news over the past several weeks.

With the prominence of social media and the constant news cycle, athletes have an extremely difficult time hiding their emotional struggles when begin to unravel. This summer has been less than kind to Lamar Odom as his struggles with drug abuse resurfaced. But his refusal to engage in sustained treatment by checking himself out of rehab after only one day demonstrates a level of denial that will continue to fuel his struggles. However, there are examples of athletes who seem to be gaining a better understanding of how to cope with challenges.

Former WNBA star Chamika Holdsclaw on Iyanla: Fix My Life in 2013

Former WNBA star Chamika Holdsclaw appeared on Iyanla: Fix My Life in 2013

A recent episode of “Iyanla, Fix My Life” featured Chamika Holdsclaw, former WNBA and women’s college basketball star. The show gave a glimpse into Holdsclaw’s internal scars as viewers watched her begin to learn to accept her past and gain tools on how to improve her future. Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) was known for his numerous outbursts in the past. Now, he often acknowledges the benefit of his therapist and readily spreads the word of how effective therapy can be.

There’s cause for optimism for affected athletes because of the varying success stories of recovery from emotional turmoil. Michael Irvin faced public scrutiny for his substance abuse problems during his NFL career. He has overcome those issues to have a successful career as an analyst.

Tennis star Andre Agassi

Tennis star Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi’s substance abuse problems threatened to derail a thriving tennis career until successful rehabilitation allowed him to rebound and have a resounding professional and personal revival. Herschel Walker was often described as angry and aloof while playing in the NFL. He was diagnosed with Dis-associative Identity Disorder, also known as multiple personality disorder. After the diagnosis, Walker gained greater clarity and understanding, leading to multiple successful business ventures including a food service company, an appearance on NBC’s Apprentice, and a brief career in mixed martial arts.

All struggles are different and any degree of success is helpful when acknowledged. Rookie NFL player Tyrann Mathieu made headlines last year when he was dismissed from LSU after multiple failed drug tests. Mathieu has been able to rehabilitate his image and revive his career with the help of John Lucas II, president of John Lucas Enterprises, a network of drug treatment centers that mostly features athletes as clients.

Former NBA player and coach John Lucas II has found success in his post-athletic career in running his Houston based John Lucas Treatment and Recovery Center for  individuals struggling with substance abuse.

Former NBA player and coach John Lucas II has found success in his post-athletic career in running his Houston- based John Lucas Treatment and Recovery Center for individuals struggling with substance abuse.

Essentially, the best way to ensure that current and future athletes get the help they need to address their emotional concerns is to shift the narrative. Lucas, who once faced serious substance abuse problems while playing in the NBA, is a prime example of an athlete recognizing the importance of addressing the negative results of untreated emotional issues. If more athletes attach the same vigor, and diligence to their emotional and mental health as they do to their physical health and abilities, there will be more comprehensive success stories. When that happens, athletes will experience success in multiple areas of their lives which will allow them to be their complete best.  – Onpointpress.net

 

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant.