I was scouring the internet for a competent review of this week's episode of R&B Divas LA. Finding none, I decided to write one.
I am loving the new addition to the show – Chrisette Michele and Leela James. These two are eclectic artists with good spirits. They add fresh air and new perspective to the show.
This episode focused on the mental health of one of the veteran stars – Michel'le Toussant.
Chrisette's boo is out as producer of the Puerto Rico project and Warryn Campbell is in.
Michel'le is performing at the Crenshaw MLK Day Parade. She is told last minute that her 15 minute set (for which she practiced) is now a 30 minute set. She is very upset and seems to spiral out of control. She starts 'babbling' as Leelah James put it. It does not help that the sound is totally wack during the performance. michel'le even walks off stage at one point until the sound engineers can get it together. Needless to say, all of the ladies are concerned about her health.
Leelah and Lil' Mo visit Michel'le as home. Michel'le is surprisingly candid about her feelings and current emotional challenges. She shares her feelings of abandonment which arise from being displaced as a child from her mother and later her father.
The episode concludes with Michel'le visiting a psychologist. This psychologist is professional, concerned and firm about the seriousness of Michel'le's current condition.
I have written on Talulazoeapple before on mental health issues, specifically, the suicide death of a very good friend of mine. I am excited that such a popular show has decided to shine a light on such a serious issue. Mental illness is such a taboo subject in the African American community. We blame the victim. We blame the devil. Where is the help?
I briefly worked as a case manager. There was a woman who threatened suicide – once over the phone and once in person. As she sat at my desk, I searched for resources to provide her with the care she needed. How ironic - I am working in a social services agency with no resources for suicide prevention. I called a doctor's offices and one kind gentleman gae me the number to a mobile crisis hot line.
These people took care of this woman – sick, no insurance in a dark place. They drove to her home, diagnosed her and provided medication. When I saw her again, she looked like sunshine.
Kudos to the people who volunteer and service those suffering from mental illness. Kudos to TV One and R&B Divas for shedding a light on this serious issue.
If you know of someone in crisis, here are some numbers to give them:
Need help? Text “CTL” to 741741.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255