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Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter debuts new Public Affairs podcast with WBGO Studios

In this season of There’s Sumter About It, NJ Assembly Woman Shavonda Sumter tackles the topic of mental health. Discussing everything from pandemic fatigue to the mind-body wellness connection, to the cultural barriers to accessing mental health.

Through intimate conversations with professional friends spanning decades, she aims to destigmatize mental health through personal stories, lessons learned, practical solutions, and inspiration.

Episode One: Our guest for this inaugural episode of There’s Sumter About It is New Jersey Assembly Woman Shanique Speight. We discuss an important issue for women and girls everywhere—the need for menstrual equity and the ongoing fight to end period poverty. Assemblywoman Speight is the author of more than 21 pieces of legislation on this issue. Join us for a lively and informational conversation.

Episode Two: Our guest for this There’s Sumter About It episode is Juan Riestra, M.D., psychiatrist and music lover.

Today, we discuss cultural barriers to mental health care. Getting treatment for a mental health problem can be difficult for anyone—and more than half of all adults in the country will experience an occurrence during their lives. For members of ethnic and racial minority groups, the road to treatment is often blocked by cultural views of mental illness and therapy, lack of insurance, and access to appropriate care.

Episode Three: Our guest on this episode is Dr. Damali Campbell of the New Jersey Medical Association. Dr. Campbell is a dear friend and trusted advisor on all things health. Covid 19 changed the way we move, interacted with others, and viewed home life, and work life. Together, we take a deep dive into personal testimony of transition during the pandemic, and post-pandemic health and wellness.

Episode Four: Dr. Latoya Gaines joins us to talk about the future of wellness. She is a professional therapist and the owner of Culture of Wellness, a therapy provider group. Mental wellness is a journey we travel our entire lives. Dr. Gaines speaks with us about the tools and techniques many are using on their journey to mental wellness.

Episode Five: We welcome Melissa Audige-Perkins. She is a good friend and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. This episode highlights the parents who managed work and home responsibilities while helping their children with online learning during the first few years of the pandemic. Melissa and I talk about education fatigue for both parents and students. How did we do it? How were students impacted?

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Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter entered the New Jersey General Assembly in 2012. She has served in the executive leadership as Deputy Speaker and Majority Conference Leader. Assemblywoman Sumter currently represents the 35th Legislative District that includes parts of Bergen and Passaic County.