SU alumna seeks to help communities of color with new therapy practice
SU alumnae set to open new therapy practice
Amudalat Fola Lasisi sees a significant void in the healthcare industry, and because of that, the Nigerian-American born therapist has found her passion.
“I think it’s extremely important, one, as a woman of color to represent a lot of minority communities,” Lasisi said. “I think that because of the lack of cultural competency with health professionals, black and brown communities don’t receive quality care.”
Lasisi, a 2015 graduate of Syracuse University’s clinical mental health counseling program, said she hopes to bridge the gap between mental health and disadvantaged communities. through her new Liverpool practice, Restore & Renew Therapy Services, by hiring and treating people from different backgrounds.
“I want more access for people of color in the field,” Lasisi said. “I want more quality health care in the field, I want more training in cultural competency for the people that are currently in the field.”
This desire to help underserved communities has become even more prevalent this year with the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people of color account for almost 60 percent of coronavirus cases to date.
Lasisi said she is not surprised that there is a disproportionate rate of people of color infected with or dying from the virus.
“It’s extremely unfortunate,” Lasisi said. “A lot of what’s happening right now is a lack of resources, lack of knowledge, and I think there’s a cultural piece to this right now because a lot of minorities they thrive off of having family connections: being with people, being with their neighbors, being outside.”
Initially, becoming a medical doctor in the traditional sense was Lasisi’s career goal, however, she found early on that people would come to her for a listening ear and that helped to determine her degree path in mental health counseling.
“When I started the program at SU, I just felt like that was where I wanted to be,” Lasisi said. “And then everything worked out with my internship and I ended up landing a job. It just worked for me.”
After working with a diverse population for a couple of years in her first job, Lasisi opened her own practice in late 2018.
Lasisi said that coming up with the name was a bit of a struggle but with the help of her sister, the two were able to decide on it.
“I just find that feeling restored, usually after a long session, most clients feel restored and I think the idea of feeling renewed in negative thinking as they’re able to move toward an upward trajectory,” Lasisi said. “When I think of restored/renewed, I just think of refreshing, and I think of water and I love water, so it just fit.”
Lasisi said family is a big part of her life and credits them for inspiration.
“Before I started this profession, this was just naturally who I was,” Lasisi said. “Them trusting me enough to come to me with their problems kind of gave me the reassurance and confidence to be able to help others.”