About

I am the owner of Brandy J. Flynn Counseling & Consulting Services as a mental health counselor in the world of sports and in the entertainment industry. I am also the founder of Breaking the Barriers of the Mental Health Foundation

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Lamar Odom: The Next Chapter

When you are dealing with addiction, it is very hard to recover from it. You have to do everything in your power to stay focus and stay on track with the road to recovery. You have to recognize the triggers of your life that may be the root of your addiction and also learn how to deal with them. So many times, we feel that we have it together when we actually do not. Luckily some people recognize that they need assistance in keeping it together. Instead of waiting until they fall off the wagon, they reach out for help to be utilized as a safety net. This past week, former NBA player Lamar Odom has made a personal decision to check himself back into rehab. His emphasis for going back to rehab is to help him get his mind focused for the upcoming year. There have been so many rumors and coincidences for his reasons: divorce being finalized, the birthday of his child that died from SIDS, and even a childhood friend who is recently serving time in prison. No matter what the reason is, Lamar is taking the proper steps in his life to make sure that he is able to deal with not only his addiction but the various losses that he has encountered in his life. It is outstanding when people take it upon themselves to place prevention in their life so that they have a safety net in case something disturbs their life that would make them get side tracked. Sadly so many people in society believe that people like Lamar Odom are just not strong enough and probably fallen off already. Regardless if he has fallen off and is covering it up or he is truly utilizing this as prevention, he is still taking care of himself mentally so that he will be able to function within society. Lamar will be making a fresh start in 2017 with being a better parent and a better man.

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As a mental health counselor and a sports fan, I am truly hoping that Lamar Odom not only defeats his addiction, but also tackles his issues that have occurred in his life over time. Hopefully this will open up the much needed dialogue for those who feel that they need some form of prevention to help them stay on task during upcoming storms in their life.

Brandy J. Flynn is the owner of Brandy J. Flynn Counseling & Consulting Services. She is also the founder of Breaking the Barriers of Mental Health Foundation. She is an counselor in the entertainment and sports industry and an advocate for mental health.

Photo credit: http://www.campusheathq.com & http://www.hngn.com

The Crisis Of Kanye

When someone encounters trauma in their life, it can create some form of setback in their life. Never taking the time to face and deal with the trauma can take a toll on one’s life. Often times people feel that if they ignore a trauma, it will magically go away. Just think of what could happen to a person who encounters multiple traumatic experiences and never deal with any of them. Over the past few weeks, rap artist Kanye West has hit a breaking point with his mental health. Although the media constantly reports that Kanye is currently dealing with sleep deprivation and exhaustion, in reality, Kanye’s mental health has finally hit a brick wall. He has been the butt of a lot of jokes due to his public outbursts at his recent concerts. His outbursts are now considered a cry for help. What people fail to realize is that Kanye has yet to take time to deal with the various life altering events in his life.

Like Kanye West, many people ignore traumatic events. They think they can overcome them just by ignoring them only to realize that it will never go away. Many people feel that if you do not acknowledge the traumatic events, life will eventually get better. The fact of the matter is that these types of events can cloud our future decisions we’ll make in life and alter the road we have in front of us. We have to learn that the phrase “this too shall pass” does not mean ignore the issue, but in fact work on the issue.

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I hope this situation is an eye opener for not only Kanye West but for others who have had traumatic incidents in their life and refused to deal with them. I hope this incident demonstrates that trauma never goes away and can always attack you in disguise. Instead of saying #prayforKanye, lets also say #letshelpKanye.

Brandy J. Flynn is a mental health counselor and consultant in the entertainment  industry and the world of  sports. Follow on twitter and instagram @consultbrandy.

Photo credit. music.blog.ajc.com and livingcivil.com

#YouGoodMan

Very rarely do you hear men talk about the issues that they dealing in their life. A lot of times, they keep it to themselves and shut people out of their life. Many have kept it to themselves to the point that they have decided to take their own lives. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, men die by suicide 3.5x more often than women. When hip hop artist/ actor Kid Cudi stated that he has been admitted to seek help for depression, anxiety and suicidal ideations, it opened the door for dialogue for men to not only check themselves but to check on others. Kid Cudi has dealt with various adjustment issues in his younger life that could possibly be the root of his depression and anxiety. What Kid Cudi did was more than a notification. It was a self- statement of acknowledging that he is not ok, that he does not have it together, and he is seeking help for it. It is also a conversation piece for men to start having the conversation with each about their well-being. Although men do not normally pour their heart out to their family and  friends like women usually do, they are beginning to take advantage of utilizing their friends to speak about the issues that they are dealing with. More men are even seeking professional health to help them to get a grip on their issues to help them to become a better man.

At this present time, what Kid Cudi needs is support during this process. It isn’t easy dealing with mental illness: especially when you are in the spotlight. Luckily for him, he took it upon himself to get the professional help he need instead of inquiring what he should do. So as you are ready this, think about the men in your life who may be dealing with issues in their life and simply ask “You good man”, you never know that you may possibly save a life.

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Brandy Flynn is a mental health therapist in the entertainment and sports industry. She is also the founder of Breaking the Barriers of Mental Health Foundation. If you or somebody you know is contemplating suicide, you can call The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. The hashtag #Yougoodman is used in remembrance of men to check on the fellow brothers to ensure that they are doing ok.

Photcredit: www.runhetrap.com and www.mtv.com

On to the Next One

In the early part of 2016, one of the greatest players in the NBA decided to retire from the league. When athletes retire, they usually find their way back to sports, whether it is coaching or commentating. Rarely do we hear about retired athletes taking their wealth to a higher level. When we do, we can guarantee that it will be something big. Recently Kobe Bryant made business headlines with his investing collaboration with Jeff Stibel. Although this is major news to us, this has been the norm for Kobe. Unlike a lot of players, Kobe did not wait until retirement to what was next. As he was in the here and now as a basketball player, he was investing his money to ensure that he was investing his money to ensure that he continues to grow. Kobe has join the great ranks with other G.O.A.T.s when it comes to successful investing such as former Spurs David Robinson, former Bulls Michael Jordan, and former Lakers Magic Johnson.

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When it comes to athletes, it is very important that they have some form of financial advisement during their career and even in the beginning of their retirement. When you are playing sports, it is never promised that you will be in the league for twenty years. It is not promised that you will always be the franchise player for our team. It should be implemented to players that they should use their finances as a stepping stool to a higher plateau. Having a nice home, fancy cars, and traveling all over the globe is great, but one has to think about the future and past the flashing lights from the arena. Kobe Bryant has played a pivotal role in a lot of present players in their determination in basketball. Hopefully they will follow in his footsteps and creating more wealth in their financial future.

Brandy J. Flynn is a mental health counselor and consultant in the entertainment industry and the world of sports. For more information, go to http://www.brandyjflynn.com.

Photo crdeits: http://www.abcnews.com and http://www.chicagorusader.com

The Heavy Load

It is nothing new when we hear about athletes becoming broke after their time from the league. This usually comes from outstanding spending, outlandish child support payments, and substance abuse. Very rarely do we hear about athletes become broke due to their family spending their money. Unfortunately, it was the case for former NFL player Trent Richardson. When Trent was playing for the University of Alabama, he was considered one of the best running backs in the SEC and potentially in the NFL. Once he got drafted by the NFL and upcoming knee surgeries, the hype that surrounded him had died down. Unfortunately his stardom was not the only thing that died down; so did his bank account. Trent, like many athletes, did not pay attention to his finances. He felt that it was responsibility to take care of his family and friends. The sad part is that no one was ensuring that Trent was being taken care of.

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So many athletes are being pressured into taking care of their family and friends. They often feel that they have to maintain loyalty by financially taking care of people when in reality they are being to learn the importance of not only living within their means but to also say no. Athletes also need to become more educated about finances and how to have their money make more money ( in a legal manner).Various professional leagues offer sessions for rookies about balancing their personal life in the world of sports, in which financial planning is one of them. But how can you designate thirty minutes to address something that can make or break someone’s livelihood: especially if they are not familiar with the access of the money that they have. Hopefully athletes will become more aware about their financial status and choose wisely on how they allow having access of it.

Brandy J. Flynn is a counselor and consultant in the world of sports and the entertainment industry. She is presently working on her book: The Balancing Act. For more information about Brandy, go to http://www.brandyjflynn.com.

photo credit:www.theelebrite.com and http://www.cbssports.com

An Athletic Stance

In the past week (well actually in the past years), African Americans have been under attack when it comes to police brutality. We have had so many deaths to occur in the hands of the policemen that the community is simultaneously fed up. So many people have inquired about the voices of athletes to speak up and to take a stand on this social cause. Many feel that athletes have the perfect platform to bring awareness to any and all social injustices in a unified way. At the recent ESPY’s Awards, NBA players Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade, and Lebron James opened up the award ceremony by addressing the recent incidents that have occurred with African American men. It was a great opportunity for the four of them to bring awareness in front of a multicultural audience. It also allowed them to reflect to the nation that they are also affected by the crisis. Over the year’s many athletes have used their platform a way to speak out (and act out) against social causes:

Bill Russell-played an intricate part in the Civil Rights movement.

Jim Brown- started the Black Economic Union which helped establish black own businesses.

Brandon Marshall- wearing green cleats to a football game to bring awareness to mental health.

St. Louis Rams- responding to Michael Brown’s death by walking out to the field with their hands up.

 

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With the platforms that athletes have with their stardom, they have the right to choose how they want to use it. Many athletes do not publicly speak out on social issues for many reasons. Some may feel that they are not able to articulate the right words to say to bring awareness. Others may feel that they would rather support silently, not because they do not want people to know but because they do not want their fame to overshadow the cause. Although athletes do not owe us the platform to speak on social causes (I mean they do get paid to play and not speak) they do have multitude of people who look up to them beyond their ability to play a sport. They are looked at by some for their success and being able to break any barriers that their followers may be trying to climb themselves. Any advantage that is placed for athletes to use to address social change that athletes are comfortable with should be wisely used.

 

Brandy J. Flynn is a mental health counselor and consultant in the world of sports. She is presently working on her first book, The Balancing Act. For more information, go www.brandyjflynn.com

Photo credits: Arthur Ashe www.ykoroleva.wordpress.com

ESPY Awards www.finalcall.com