What We Won’t Talk About-Mental Illness

DISCLAIMER:  I am not a mental health specialist or social worker or anything of the like.  I’m just here to state some facts and share my opinion.  If you are a mental health specialist, feel free to comment and share your expertise.

Last Monday, Denver Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley was found dead in his home from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.  He was 23.  The focus then went to Kenny’s mental health.  After his second knee surgery, he was heard saying that he “should just kill himself.  No one thought he was serious.” 

Sadly, in the black community, no one ever REALLY talks about mental health issues, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc.  Our way of dealing with a relative or friend who’s dealing with some heavy stuff is, “Oh, you’re alright. Just pray about it”  or “She’s always been crazy; she’s never going to change.”  As a Christian, I am very aware of what God can do, but we can’t let some things go by the wayside.  Just as we need medicine for the common cold or the flu, people also need help dealing with mental illness.  We need to encourage each other to seek professional help.  It never hurts to speak with a healthcare professional and if he or she sees fit, to take the necessary steps to take care of any thing from which we may be suffering.  We may not be able to “cure” what we have, but we can at least take the recommended medicine to deal with our illness.   If these illnesses go untreated, that is when we become a threat to harm others or even ourselves. 

If you ever have a loved one whom you think is suffering from a mental illness or just went through something traumatic, be there for them to make sure they are dealing with things appropriately.  If you believe their behavior has changed, talk to them about it and encourage them to seek help.  If a loved one says something akin to, “I would be better off dead” or “I should just end it all”, don’t ignore them or laugh it off.  Continue to be there for them and encourage them to seek professional help.  We should never ignore those when we feel like they are dealing with mental health issues.  When we turn our backs on each other is when unnecessary tragedies occur.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Reaction to Mitrice Richardson

On my post last week during “This Week in the News“, I lightly touched on the Mitrice Richardson situation.  I posted a link to the CNN story that confirmed the skull and bones found in Malibu did belong to the 25 year old graduate student.  In keeping strong with the 31 Day Blogging for Branding challenge, today’s post will be my response to the situation revolving around her disappearance.  I could talk about Alvin Greene getting arrested, Philip Markoff committing suicide, the disappearance of overdraft fees, or the arrest of alleged serial killer Elias Abuelazam, but I will discuss the facts and share my opinion of the untimely death of this former beauty queen.

Mitrice had been arrested on September 16 of last year after not paying an $89 dinner bill at a Malibu restaurant.  The manager had her arrested and police took her into custody and had her car towed.  I won’t get into too many details, but a little after midnight, the police decided to release her from custody, even after her mother, Latice Sutton, told authorities that if they released her daughter, she would come pick her up.  Ms. Sutton also let authorities know that her daughter suffered from mental issues and that she may not be in her right mind.  Ms. Sutton did not learn of her daughter’s release until 5:30 am, at which time she filed a missing person’s report.  It took almost a year to find this girl, even though just a few weeks ago a former classmate claimed he saw her in Las Vegas.  Micheal Richardson, Mitrice’s father, is claiming negligence on behalf of police personnel, saying he heard about his daughter’s death via the press conference.  (Coroner officials did call him and left a message, which is standard procedure.)  Mitrice’s body was found approximately 2.5 miles from her last known credible sighting. 

So many questions pop into my head.  First, if her body was less than 3 miles from the police station, why did it take 11 months to locate her body?  I’m no forensics expert, but it seems to me the area surrounding her last known whereabouts should have been searched thoroughly.  Second, why wasn’t her mother notified of her release immediately as she requested?  Yes, it is illegal to hold someone against their will if they are not being arrested, but her mother asked she be called if her daughter were released, and she would come pick Mitrice up.  Her car had been impounded and her phone was in her car, so how was she going to get home?   Third, why did the national public JUST hear about this last month?  Whenever “certain” people go missing, the national media is notified almost immediately.  Lastly, isn’t it a little tacky that the press conference went on as scheduled even though not everyone in her immediate family may not have known about her death?  If foul play was involved, I hope her murderer is found quickly.  The ending to this story was very bittersweet, and I hope that she gets the justice she deserves.  

Have any of you heard about Mitrice Richardson before this post?  If so, how did you get the information?  For those of you well versed in the law, what am I missing?  Should her mother have been notified, or did she have a right to go about as she pleased?  I personally feel like this story has a lot of holes.  And I hope someone can fill these holes quickly.  Do you know of any other stories of people who have gone missing but the national media has paid little attention?  If so, I ask that you use this platform to share.  It’s about time we start speaking up for those who are done wrong.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

What’s Really Going On???

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Yesterday, I was all set to go in on some people today.  Then I saw a post from Taraji P. Henson on Twitter that basically said we shouldn’t judge people, just pray for them and let them do them.  So since I am FAR from a saint and don’t want anybody judging me, I have decided to back off.   I will say that if you are a praying person, please keep Fantasia, her married ex-boyfriend, Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, and any other man or woman who engaged in adulteress activities in your prayers. 

Now, to get to the matters I will discuss: Maia Campbell and Montana Fishburne.  First, Ms. Campbell.  If you are not familiar with her, she is the pretty girl who starred on “In the House” with LL Cool J and Debbie Allen back in the day, starred in Tyrese’s video “Sweet Lady”, and is the daughter of deceased author Bebe Moore Campbell.  Did the light bulb just go off??? Great!  Maia suffers from schizophrenia and maybe another form of mental illness and has taken to self-medicating herself, which means she is taking street drugs.  A few months back, there was a tape that made it’s way to the internet where she was high and going off on somebody in a belligerent way.  The idiots people who were with her and videotaping can be heard laughing in the background and egging each other on to antagonize her.  Even after entering rehab and being arrested, she’s back on drugs, this time showing a noticeable weight loss and shorter hair.  Now, there is a new tape that has been released.  It’s so sad when those who suffer from mental illness do not take care of themselves and do not receive the help they need.  She has so much talent, and it’s a shame that is has been squandered away.

Montana Fishburne-never heard of her?  Well I didn’t either until this week.  She is the 19 year old daughter of Laurence Fishburne who has decided she wants to be a porn star.  Yep, you read correctly.  Her interest in sex sparked at age 16 when she lost her virginity.  Unlike some people who became famous after their sex tape was mistakenly released (read: Kim Kardashian), Montana has decided becoming a porn star will catapult her to superstardom.  (Never one to dash a young girl’s dream, but what is she thinking?!?!)  She has partenered with Vivid Entertainment and made a movie, aptly titled “Montana Fishburne”.  The movie was released this past Tuesday.  Not sure how true it is, but according to Black Media Scoop via Twitter, the movie has already sold out.

Ok, guys.  I’ve done my rant for today.  How do you feel about troubled Maia Campbell and young, delusional Montana Fishburne?  Do you think Maia will turn her life around before it’s too late?  Will Montana’s dreams of mainstream fame come about due to her sex tape?  And feel free to comment on some other things I decided to leave alone today. 😉  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

*For your listening pleasure, and since I’m slightly nostalgic, here’s Tyrese’s 1998 video for “Sweet Lady”.