“You Can’t Pray Away Mental Illness.” – A Conversation With Mental Health Illness Advocate Agyei Ekundayo

After speaking in depth with the beautiful and phenomenal Agyei Ekundayo – a passionate Mental Health Illness Advocate – I was enlightened and exposed to a whole new plane of existence that I was unaware of when it came to the topic of Mental Illness.

It is truly frightening to know how many individuals who believe that they are functional in life at an efficient level are operating no where near their potential and are actually living dangerously close to the breaking point that many simply just don’t know how to recover from after being heavily medicated and chewed up by a system that doesn’t work in their best interests.

I also believe that it’s safe to say that aside from the stressful factors that we all must endure in this modern day society that our denial in addressing our Mental Health Illnesses is the precursor to us having major problems in this area in the first place.

The Black community is notorious for this brand of denial of the existence of Mental Health Illness because we oftentimes believe that we can “pray it away” or that if ignored long enough it will simply vanish.

Add insult to injury by telling those in our families and inner circles that they should “just get over it” or encouraging them to medicate away the symptoms of severe depression never really addresses the core problem and in my opinion actually compounds it by introducing the chemical element to an emotional, mental and spiritual issue.

A.J. ( Agyei Ekundayo) addresses all of these often ignored aspects and makes sense of an issue that hasn’t be brought to the forefront as much as it should in this very informative, entertaining and thought provoking dialogue on The LanceScurv Show!

Enjoy and do know that there is no situation that is too far gone that couldn’t be corrected with the right type of help.

There is no shame in reaching out for help and I guarantee you that it will make all of the difference in the world but YOU have to make the first step!

Call 1.800.273.TALK now to start the process to getting back the life that you know you deserve!

Peace, Righteous Love & Revolution Always,

Your Brother,



Mental Health

All about our dynamic guest, Agyei “AJ” Ekundayo:

After a decade of innumerable volunteer commitments, Agyei Ekundayo fueled her earnest drive for community wellness education in 2007 while working as an Infant Mortality Case Manager at the Portsmouth Health Department in Portsmouth, VA.

In that role, Agyei independently managed a pilot infant mortality reduction program whose target populations were low wealth, high risk maternal groups.

There, she counseled mostly young girls about self-care, nutrition, pregnancy complications, premature bir th, and repeat pregnancy prevention.

Agyei’s primary role centered on networking with community agencies to develop partnerships that would provide a continuum of resources to meet the gamut of basic human needs.

Certified in Midwifery Assistance and Lamaze training, Agyei has served the medical community via service hours at a Christian Guatemalan orphanage.

She studied Biology and Clark Atlanta University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Promotion from Weber State University. Past experiences feature a plethora of inclusion companion work for the Town of Chapel Hill, assistant grant writing intern for the South Central Perinatal Council in Lynchburg, VA and as a three time guest speaker for the Durham County Crisis Intervention Team training consumer panel.

She also facilitated discussions for the North Carolina Mental Health Consumers Organization’s 2014 annual conference.

She has most recently been at Carrboro’s North Park Church and lectured at North Carolina Central University to a graduate psychology class. Agyei, or “AJ” as she likes to be called, is gifted at assessing audience approach, and thus uses a lively mixture of informative interaction, humor, and visual display to connect with the crowd.

AJ added Mental Health Awareness to her growing list of health disparity concerns when she “plunged full throttle” into the maze of America’s mental health care crisis, upon receiving an initial mental health diagnosis in late 2007.

Since then and after 13 or so medications (she says she lost count), 10 different specialists (she says she wishes she could lose count), and 5 diagnoses (the docs cheated at Rock, Paper, Scissors); AJ bet herself good money that she could break the silence of African Americans hiding with mental illness and crusade for more effective legislation.

AJ is an impassioned proponent of utilizing creative arts to cope with mental health illness.

She recently published a memoir about her experiences growing up with cyclical mental illnesses.

Her book – Hindsight Is 20/20 – How an African American Girl Grows Up Mentally Ill and is dead last to find out can be purchased on Amazon by clicking here

Contact AJ by email: [email protected]

Twitter: @AJWriteMental

Blog: Hindsight Is 20/20

Mental Health

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March 30, 2015 10:56 AM

Thanks Lance for doing this great interview with my fellow mental health advocate the incomparable A.J. Writer. This interview was very informative and helpful at raising awareness that is needed regarding mental health issues. This information is absolutely needed within the Black American Community. Great Job to you and A.J. Cheers, Miguel!

AJ Writer
AJ Writer
February 22, 2015 3:58 PM

Thank you Lance! Our talk was very engaging, and it is my hope that listeners will begin to embrace the very reachable goal of mental wellness. Remember: everybody mental aint crazy. Many of us have just gone years unheard and overlooked–living day to day under a shroud of past hurts. Healing is arduous some days, but definitely possible.

A Charles
A Charles
February 19, 2015 10:38 AM

Thanks to you and AgyeiMental Illness is very real and our people dont believe in getting treatment or that only certain people seek treatment. My fiancee is dealing with some of these things.Thanx again

AJ Writer
AJ Writer
February 18, 2015 4:29 PM

Thank you Lance! Our talk was very engaging, and it is my hope that listeners will begin to embrace the very reachable goal of mental wellness. Remember: everybody mental aint crazy. Many of us have just gone years unheard and overlooked–living day to day under a shroud of past hurts. Healing is arduous some days, but definitely possible.

February 18, 2015 1:12 PM
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