The news about Lamar Odom this week has been devastating. To see someone who once “appeared” to have it all truly hit rock bottom and is now fighting for his life.
And all people can talk about is the Kardashians.
Piers Morgan, TMZ, and others, shaming and blaming the Kardashian family for this tragedy is not only immoral, but ignorant, especially in the wake of Mental Health Awareness Month.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly 44 million American adults experience mental illness in a given year, and 8.4 million adults have co-occurring mental illness and addiction disorders. Sixty percent of these adults go without treatment, and African Americans and Latinos use treatment services at half the rate of white Americans. These serious mental illness issues cost the United States about $193 billion per year.
Piers Morgan was right to highlight the tragedies faced by Lamar Odom over the course of his lifetime: “It’s not been an easy life for Lamar. His mother died when he was 12, his father was a heroin addict, and he lost a six-month-old child to sudden death syndrome. But many others have survived similarly catastrophic blows and emerged stronger and better from the emotional wreckage. Though they did not marry a Kardashian.”
Yes, there are wonderful stories of people who face great adversity and come out better and stronger on the other side. But there are even more stories of people who fall through the cracks. And no, not all of those people were married to a Kardashian, although the media spotlight of being a part of that family undoubtedly created even more stress on an already troubled soul.
Addiction is a real issue. Depression and anxiety are also very real issues. All of these are things that normal everyday people face each and every day. But because of a stigma against mental health issues, so many of them never seek help.
I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to seek help. If you have ANY concerns that you or someone you know may be suffering from depression, addiction, or any other mental health related issue PLEASE reach out and seek help. There are so many resources and treatments, which include those covered by insurance and even those that cost NOTHING. You just have to know where to go.
Here are some things to consider when reaching out:
- If it’s an emergency in which you or someone you know is suicidal, you should immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room.
- If you can wait a few days, make an appointment with your primary healthcare provider or pediatrician if you think your condition is mild to moderate.
- If your symptoms are moderate to severe, make an appointment with a specialized doctor such as a psychiatrist. You may need to contact your community mental health center or primary health care provider for a referral. Or, you can even meet with your primary care doctor and they usually are full or resources and contact numbers (including free counselors).
- If you or your child is in school or at college, contact the school and ask about their support services.
- Seek out support groups in your community and educate yourself about your symptoms and diagnosis. Social support and knowledge can be valuable tools for coping.
You can also get more info at The National Alliance on Mental Illness by clicking HERE.
For more information regarding depression and the symptoms of depression, click HERE.
For general information on mental health and to locate treatment services in your area, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Referral Helpline at 1‑877‑SAMHSA7 (1‑877‑726‑4727). SAMSHA also has a Behavioral Health Treatment Locator on its website that can be searched by location.
Indianapolis is also home to a branch of Mental Health America, located at 1441 Street, which has an extensive array of options and information. In fact, Mental Health America of Indiana is a statewide organization, with over forty local affiliate offices, making it the largest Mental Health America in the country. You call them at (317)638-3501 or online at www.mhai.net