Aug. 31, 2022 | Matt Conway
President of Community Caring Clinic Abdifatah Ahmed connects with community members at a recent family fun day event.
Reminder Publishing submitted photo
SPRINGFIELD – The local mental health organization Community Caring Clinic hosted an informational open house session with local leaders and health entities on Aug. 18. State Rep. Carlos Gonzalez and representatives from state Sen. Adam Gomez’s office were in attendance.
The organization originated as a labor of passion from president Dr. Abdifatah Ahmed and Executive Director Mohamed Abdullahi. Ahmed immigrated from East Africa to Boston in 1992 and began an extensive career in education. After graduating from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 2003, Ahmed worked as a pharmacist for 18 years in Maine before joining the clinic as a new enterprise.
The first Community Caring Clinic opened in Roxbury in 2019. A second Springfield location opened soon after in the summer of 2021. The outpatient clinic offers mental health, substance abuse, in-home therapy and psychiatric treatments through its 22 clinicians. Abdullahi shared that clinic became interested in expanding to Springfield after discovering the need for equitable services for the city’s diverse population.
Ahmed shared that his motivation for starting the clinic came from the stigmatization and lack of accessible resources immigrants face when seeking mental health treatment. Ahmed aspires to make services more accessible for low-income, immigrant and refugee communities alike.
“The clinic is all passion, it’s to help underserved communities,” said Ahmed.
Abdullahi endured a similar path after migrating to the United States from East Africa. He followed up his graduation from College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 2006 and worked with the Islamic Society of Boston while completing his pharmaceutical program.
Abdullahi served as a mentor in the Boston Muslim community, with his experiences exposing him to the direct needs of the community.
“This was eye-opening to me … therapy is something people need,” said Abdullahi.
The Community Caring Clinic helps address the lack of equitable treatment through a variety of means. Most hired clinicians speak multiple languages to address the diverse array of groups seeking treatment. Some of the represented languages include Arabic, Spanish, Creole and Haitian.
“That’s our strength. It helps to reduce the stigma and misunderstanding for low-income families to match them with the right clinician,” said Ahmed. Additionally, the clinic addresses need heads on by reaching out to prospective patients within a 24-hour period.
The clinic also aspires to form strong ties within the communities they operate within. Abdullahi explained that the organization worked to address food insecurity by distributing Shop and Stop gift cards with the Boston Resilience Fund, aided youths dealing with the isolation of the coronavirus pandemic and provided community-building exercises like a family fun day.
“We are community oriented. We care about the neighborhoods and the communities that we serve,” said Abdullahi.
For Community Caring Clinic, equity remains the essential goal. Abdullahi stressed that organization is steadfast on addressing the lingering needs of underserved communities.
“We want to bring professionalism, compliance, confidentiality and all the services needed, but at the same time, relieve that type of parody that exists,” said Abdullahi.
Readers can learn more about Community Caring Clinic at https://www.communitycaringclinic.org/.