Controversial ex-actress Maia Campbell has been in the news recently for two videos that put her well being and mental state into question. The former In the House star was recorded by an Atlanta rapper named T-Hood. In the since viral clip, the once promising 40-year-old thespian is seen acting erratically and repeatedly asking for drugs.
After seeing this troubling video her famous In the House co-star, LL Cool J reached out in an attempt to get Campbell’s contact information as well as question why the man recording her didn’t lend a helping hand.
However, despite his due diligence, LL has since thrown in the towel.
You can't help someone who doesn't want your help.
— LLCOOLJ. (@llcoolj) July 11, 2017
Since his social media olive branch, Campbell has recorded a response to LL Cool J where she has said: “I don’t need help, I just need a benefit concert for mental health.” The clip was shot at her reported temporary place of employment and in the video, she seems extremely on edge, gets noticeably frustrated at the cameraman’s questions and tries to walk away multiple times.
Campbell talked about her drug addiction and bipolar disorder in an episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life in 2012. “You had bipolar disorder,” says Iyanla. “You were thinking on your own, and you weren’t taking your meds. And what did that result in?” to which Campbell tragically replied, “Chaos.”
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. With bipolar disorder, a person can be feeling happy and productive one minute but fall back into depressive habits like drugs and reckless behavior the next. Campbell’s situation is an unfortunate one that we see all too often in the black community. Instead of trying to figure out what we could do to help, people start recording because views take precedent over actual lives.
With July being Minority Mental Health Month, Campbell’s story becomes a somber reminder of the work we as black people still have ahead of us when it comes to destigmatizing mental health issues. Someone who is at the forefront of such insurmountable — yet important — work is accomplished music industry executive and founder of Silence the Shame, Shanti Das. Through her Silence the Shame movement, Das hopes to peel back the layers of shame and stigma as it relates to mental health. This initiative focuses on educating people about treatment, support and care for mental health and has been endorsed by the likes of Nick Cannon, Chloe x Halle and Usher. “I feel that we need to do a better job of talking about the importance of mental health in the black community on a regular basis,” says Das. “July (Minority Mental Health Month) gives us a national platform to highlight these issues so it’s sad and ironic that during this month, one of our sisters is in need of care and some digital outlets chose to post the video but not offer any other context or treatment or the importance of mental health awareness.”
Das calling for accountability in the black community when it comes to mental health is necessary. “We need to move with more love and respect. It’s time for us to stop shaming and start caring.”