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Nalwanga Musisi, MACP, RP

Clinician Spotlight: Nalwanga Musisi, MACP, RP

Each month in the Ginger Desk Community Clinician Spotlight, we will be featuring an interview with a health practitioner who is making a big impact and doing meaningful work with purpose. This month’s Clinician Spotlight features Nalwanga Musisi, Registered Psychotherapist and Founder of Karibu Mental Health Network, a virtual clinic and collection of BIPOC therapists who practice out Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We sat down with Nalwanga to learn a little more about the work she is doing and how she’s building community in the mental health field.

What is your profession?

Nalwanga: I am a Registered Psychotherapist based in Ontario. I support people from all walks of life in improving their overall well-being, build resilience and explore, without judgment, the intimate working of their rich inner world. 

Why did you choose this profession?

I believe in the power of community and the importance of supporting individuals within that community and so I was drawn to psychotherapy because it allows me the opportunity to engage people within the broader healthcare system as people first, and operate in a supportive role from that position throughout our work together. Being called in to walk with people as they journey towards healing and self-mastery is a privilege, and I’m reminded everyday the true power of human connection and empathy. For me, psychotherapy is not just about helping individuals, but about making a positive impact on the collective wellbeing of society as a whole. 

Who are the patients you serve and why is your work important to them?

As a Collective, we are committed to providing mental health services that are culturally responsive, relatable, affordable and equitable to communities who have historically felt marginalized, misunderstood and underserved by the existing mental health frameworks available to the public. Not only do we explicitly center the experiences and needs of these communities, we are actively finding different ways to bridge the gap between the community and the professional world of psychotherapy. With this approach, we are able to work collaboratively with people to address the complex interplay between mental health experiences and larger social and cultural forces.

It helps that we too come from the very communities that have been affected by systemic inequalities so we really understand, through our own lived experiences, how best to adapt our work in a way that “just makes sense” to the people who we serve. So far, the response to our efforts has been overwhelmingly positive, and we have been told that our presence is much appreciated and making an immediate meaningful impact on the communities around us.

How is what you’re doing unique in your profession?

While I certainly cannot speak for the entire profession, the response to our Collectice’s presence in the healthcare system suggests that, as a whole, people are ready to shift towards healthcare options that extend beyond the dominant models of understanding illness, health and healing. We can only hope that our approach continues to offer something valuable to those seeking support and encourages others to establish practices that actively promote health equity and improve the overall wellbeing of people within BIPOC communities.

What do you love about your day-to-day practice? What about practice brings you great joy?

The best thing about day-to-day practice is seeing in real time people reap the benefits of their effort to impact their mental health and overall wellbeing in the very way they intended. While it is not always rainbows and sunshine, and it sometimes takes time to get there, it is such an honor to witness the resilience, strength, and courage that individuals bring to their healing process. It’s also a reminder of just how incredible we are in our ability to adapt to life and the potential that exists within all of us to secure the positive change and transformation we seek.

Nalwanga – you are an inspiration. Thank you for the important work you’re doing. Thank you for building something with a deep purpose and for serving a gap that you saw existed for patients in need of mental health support. Your patients and practitioners are so fortunate to have you leading the way. 

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