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Jameer Nelson feels Delonte West needs to seek help, but help needs to seek West

I speak from experience when I write that the much-troubled Delonte West needs the right mentor more than anything right now. And that person needs to be a stable, well-meaning person dedicated to leading West back into a contented life. That needs to happen before monetary donations and visits to medical folks and social services.



As a police lieutenant, I dealt almost daily with situations similar to what DWest is going through - mental illness and alcohol and drug abuse. Arrests were common because it was the only way to quickly take away the threat that the erratic and often-combative individuals would harm themselves or others, and that would include the threat of harm to the responding officers.


The courts and Social Services would usually come into play, but the results were almost always the same. The troubled individual would soon be back on the streets, and law enforcement would await the next call. The outcome often changed for the better when a mentor stepped in and took on the seemingly-impossible task of getting the individual heading in the right direction. That is what is needed to get Delonte back on track.

Poor upbringing is a tough thing for people to overcome, and it appears that West had a difficult early life (per Wikipedia):

(Delonte) West has described his childhood as “happy-poor”, and has said that he lived with various relatives. During his teen years, West states that he abused drugs, engaged in self-harm, and spent time in children’s hospitals.

West is a multiracial person, with African American (through his mother), Piscataway Native American, and European American heritage. West was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2008. While he initially accepted the diagnosis, he later disputed it, suggesting that his difficulties arose from a combination of temporary depression and the stresses of a basketball player lifestyle.

I have no idea who may eventually take on the task of helping DWest out of the doldrums, but that savior had better be ready to go through Hell rescuing him from a failed life and his probable demise. Monetary donations, the courts, medical professionals and Social Services will all be brought into play during any rescue mission, but a solitary savior is required here. And it had better be the right person. Jameer Nelson suggests West needs to seek help. I disagree. Help needs to seek Delonte.

There is another story here, as my readers can probably detect, but I will save that for another venue. It is all about the failure of our society to effectively deal with mental illness and drug abuse. My sincere hope is that a strong, dedicated individual steps forward to rescue Delonte West from his probable demise in the foreseeable future. That is the first step. I speak from experience. I have seen it work like a charm with someone very close to me. I wish the same for DWest.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel, @CausewayStreet and Facebook

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