Can we talk?

Published 10:03 pm Tuesday, October 29, 2019

By Lynnora Sumblin

Lynnora Sumblin

Let’s put the guns down. Let’s put down the knives. Let’s put away the attempts at cyber-bullying. Let’s do away with the talk of nuclear weapons. Instead, let’s come to the table and hear each other out! It is this writer’s opinion that this community and nation need to return to a time reminiscent of the ’50s and ’60s, when families gathered at the dinner table each evening to not only eat, but [also] discuss/talk over the daily activities or issues of the day. These informal gathering served as a means of “psycho-therapy,” because it allowed families to talk over their concerns and receive wise advise/counsel in real time.

As our societies have evolved in the 21th century, we have become more dependent on technology/social media, as our “daily companion.” When you are on the computer, iPad, cell phone and video games the majority of every waking hour, there is little to no time left for human communication/connection. As a student of sociology, we were taught that individuals thrive best in community (schools, church, work, family, sports), versus in isolation.

Can we talk? I challenge you for next 30 days: 1. To be intentional about reducing your tech/social media time by 10 percent each day, and spend that time purposely engaging in real REAL/LIVE; not Facetime conversations with someone. It is through these human connections that the heart of humanity can be reached and ultimately healed. As humans, it is wired in our DNA to know that we matter, have value and are loved. When these needs met, it serves to strengthen their sense of worth and helps them have the courage to fight the individual dragons in their lives. 2. Over these 30 days, put down your guns, knives and weapons of any kind. These two challenges, over time, will lead us collectively to becoming the change that we want to see. A return to peace, love, joy and safety in our families, communities and world.

Oct. 10, was World Mental Health Day. It was established by the World Health Organization to help reduce the stigma and shame surrounding mental illness. The day also serves to focus the attention of stakeholders in the area of mental illness/mental health to share research and ideas to assist individuals living with mental illness to transition to recovery and experience mental health.

After graduating [from] Hampton University in 1989, I was enrolled in North Carolina Central’s Law School briefly. In October of 1989 at age 22, I woke up in Eastern State Psychiatric Hospital diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This month marks 30 years since that initial diagnosis.

Today, I serve as the founder/director of a nonprofit counseling agency, Everdelighting Advocacy Center Inc. Our vision is to assist individuals struggling in the area of mental illness sexual abuse, transition from a victim-to-victor mentality through education, advocacy and empowerment. I had the profound opportunity to present a Mental Health Matters presentation to the seniors that attend the Dr. Martin Luther King Center on Oak Street on Oct. 9. I will be conducting a free Mental Health Awareness Seminar on Friday, Nov. 22, from noon to 2 p.m., at the Ruth Camp Memorial Library on [North] College Drive. The presentation is open to consumers as well as stakeholders in the area of mental health.

Can we talk? Come join the conversation.

Free to public. Donations welcome.

LYNNORA SUMBLIN, M.ED, is an evangelist and author. Contact her at 742-2391 or