CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -The viral videos of former Cleveland Cavaliers star Delonte West being beaten on Monday in Maryland, then giving police a discombobulated statement is bringing new focus to mental health issues.
It is public that West has struggled with mental health, including bipolar disorder.
“Bipolar disorder is a severe mental illness that causes dramatic shifts in a person’s mood, energy and ability to think clearly,” according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). “People with bipolar experience high and low moods, known as mania and depression, which differ from the typical ups-and-downs most people experience.”
The video recorded by an officer, is now being investigated by the Prince George’s County Police Department to determine how it was leaked out and why it was recorded.
The video showed West claiming he was the victim of an assassination attempt by the man beating him, and that he is the “real Donald Trump.”
Several of West’s friends and former teammates have posted on social media pleading to get the former NBA star help.
In the past, those same players and coaches have tried to get West help.
As noted by NAMI, bipolar disorder can get worse if not treated.
“A person with a severe mental illness like bipolar disorder needs support, medication compliance, to stay on their medications even when they are feeling better, and regular follow up with a behavioral healthcare provider,” according to Dr. Leslie Koblentz, the Chief Clinical Officer Consultant with the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga.
In the videos West looks nothing like the NBA star who played along side Lebron James.
“Because bipolar affects a person’s thinking and mood, a person may not be aware of how sick they have become,” said Koblentz. “They may not be aware of negative consequences of their actions related to the mental illness. Early intervention is a key component to sustained treatment and maintenance of mental illness.”
The ADAMH Board has a number of ways to get people help in Cuyahoga County:
- People can seek help in Cuyahoga County by calling 216-623-6888 or texting “4HOPE” to 741741 for themselves or others. A crisis counselor will be able to connect the person with help and get them either to a hospital or crisis stabilization unit – whichever may be the best level of care for that person.
- In Cuyahoga County, we have a robust team of Crisis Intervention Trained Police Officers who can assist too. If you need to call 9-1-1 to help someone in a mental health crisis, ask if a CIT officer is available. These officers and many homeless outreach teams connect with individuals living with mental illness who may be homeless.
“Mental illness can happen to anyone,” Koblentz said. “Help break the stigma surrounding mental illness, become and advocate. Think about it, would this video be going “viral” if Mr. West were having a heart attack? No. It wouldn’t. As a society, we need to do better at ending stigma so that people are willing to get help at the earliest stages of their illness.”