Mental health insurance didn’t save Joshua Marks, MasterChef runner-up

Despite the fact that he had very good coverage, the “gentle giant” lost his battle and killed himself on Friday.

Regardless of the fact that Joshua Marks had very good mental health insurance coverage, this second place winner from the popular “MasterChef” reality show committed suicide on October 11, 2013.

The family of Marks is now pointing the finger at a lack of treatment facilities and easy gun access.

According to Marks’ family, he had been in “the battle of his life fighting mental illness” when he killed himself on the day after the WHO’s World Mental Health Day. He was heavily covered with mental health insurance, but his family said that he could not take full advantage of it because of the lack of treatment facilities in the state, so he could not obtain the help that he needed.

josh marks mental health insuranceThe lesson Josh Marks has underscored is that mental health insurance only goes so far, but the services must also be available.

Lisa Butler, Marks’ lawyer, explained that “It is overwhelming to think that with proper, intensive treatment, Joshua may still be with us.” She went on to say that “He was a jewel with so much talent to offer this world. But, in his state of mind, he turned to the streets for a gun and easily got it.” In that last part of the statement, Butler was referring to the fact that the 26 year old man was able to obtain a gun very easily, which he then used to shoot himself in the head. A Cook County, Illinois medical examiner spokesperson confirmed that the death was indeed ruled to be a suicide.

This is not the first time that Marks made headlines following his stint on MasterChef. In July, he was charged with aggravated battery after a fight with police officers who had been called to the scene following a report of his serious self-inflicted gunshot related facial wounds, said his lawyer.

Marks’ mother believed that this circumstance was a cry for help and had not been a suicide attempt at the time, said Butler. However, trying to find help for the man was not easy as there is a shortage of full time facilities in Illinois that would accept his mental health insurance, said Butler. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and about a week before his death, also received a diagnosis of schizophrenia. His body was found in a south side alley in Chicago on Friday evening, said Butler, after a neighbor called his mother to tell her that he was seen walking around with a gun.

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