Our Mission: 
The Vital Healing Project strives to provide a safe space for an interactive and collegial learning of mental health conditions and symptoms. Our ultimate goal with this program is to de-stigmatize mental health issues, while connecting under- and uninsured community residents with seasoned healthcare professionals. We seek to address cultural and racial biases in  mental illness diagnosis, as well as shine light on Racial Battle Fatigue. With help of our commited partners, we will provide free preventive measures such as yoga exercises, meditation, and selfcare instructions, while giving out information on free mental health resources within the Boston community.  
 
Our Vision: 
The Vital Healing Project operates in Roxbury, a predominantly black and hispanic community. Therefore, through our efforts to de-stigmatize mental illness, we hope to encourage U.S minorities, particularly African Americans, to seek immediate medical assistance during times of altered mental state. In the long run, we hope to contribute to public health efforts in mitigating suicidalities within the Boston community. 
 
Meet The Team
Vitalis C. Osuji
Founder and President
After completing a Behavioural Neuroscience degree at Northeastern University in 2014, Vitalis went on to pursue research at the Psychiatry Department of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). In 2015, he lost a cousin to suicide, which led him to spearhead a platform that would allow community residents to actively participate in mental illness de-stigmatization, through learning, interacting, and discussing mental health issues. This idea grew into The Vital Healing Project, a nonprofit and free monthly program for Roxbury and surrounding communities. Vitalis is fluent in both English and Nigerian Igbo. Currently, he is completing his Medical Degree (M.D) at Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM), while serving as Chair of an IUSM-affiliated humanitarian organization in Indianapolis. Vitalis enjoys travelling, playing/ watching basketball, and creating music using online music software like protools and garageband.  
Tavis R. Carter, M.S
Mr Carter is a behavioral healthcare professional and is currently a state-wide manager in the mental health field. He also currently serves as an adjunct professor at Springfield College, School of Professional and Continuing Studies. Previously in his career, Mr. Tavis worked as a licensed chemical dependency professional, providing both individual and group counseling services. He was awarded the Recognized Clinical Supervisor credential in acknowledgement of his efforts. Mr. Tavis holds a graduate degree in organizational management and leadership in human services. He is an effective, experienced, and knowledgeable advocate for individuals who battle mental illness, and he continues to ensure that these individuals have reliable access to wellness resources. In his free time, Mr. Carter loves spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren.   
​Bradley Dimunah
Bradley is a first-generation Nigerian alumnus of Boston College (BC), and completed his undergraduate education in 2013. During his time at BC, he took an interest in mentorship, working directly with several programs as Lead Mentor for first generation incoming freshmen. Over the years, he has been involved in service projects with the West Boys & Girls Club and Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) with goals geared towards inspiring community members to act in the interest of facilitating community edification and growth. He went on to seek opportunities in research with the TIMI Study Group of Brigham and Women's Hospital, but maintained an avid interest in hands on mentorship and health education. Bradley continues in this regard with his current work as an Emergency Medical Technician, research in the department of Urological Surgery at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, and volunteer work with EMS Academy where he aids in the instruction of quality patient care. He fervently believes it is through inspiration that we learn every Goliath can be overcome, and if one strives to be settled around the principles within himself, then to be impactful is a mission one need seek no further.    
Brandon Newsome, M.D
Dr. Newsome completed his medical education at the University of South Alabama in May 2016. While in medical school, he worked tirelessly in the inner city communities of Mobile with his outreach to young people of color. He was also involved in the National Alliance on Mental Illness Mobile Affiliate where he became a board member. He is now pursing a psychiatry residency at Boston Medical Center (BMC). His interests include multicultural mental health, physician burnout and wellness, resiliency, medical student education, microaggressions, child psychiatry, and college mental health. In his free time, he enjoys reading memoirs, writing, singing, and video games.  
​Jonas Payen
Jonas has been exploring movement since infancy, as he grew and began developing motion for more occupying hobbies like rock climbing, cycling, and the general discovery of better-adapted movements. Seeking to improve his results in climbing and riding while conserving comfort to remain efficient in daily tasks, he integrates the ideals of performance and corrective exercise. Furthermore he uses techniques like Myo-fascial Release, foam rolling and PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) to enhance and preserve better posture. Jonas loves fusing these principles to aid in fortifying core strength, producing safe movement, and body awareness, which allows him to bridge the gap between functionality and recreational performance. Jonas strives to teach the development of more efficient movement patterns, how to deal with overall comfort, and achieve better performance from daily tasks to spinning, climbing, and general fitness.  
Gene Thorpe, M.S
Gene completed his masters at Northeastern University. In addition to his education, he also serves as the founder and president of Thorpe photography. His understanding that we are mostly "visual individuals" allows him to savor life intensely. Gene was born and raised in Roxbury, MA, a predominantly black and Hispanic community, and therefore, fully understands issues relating to minority mental illness. He is an instrumental member of the Vital Healing Project, as he consistently captures shared moments at each monthly session. In line with Mahatma Gandhi, Gene's philosophy is not to wait and hope for a change in minority mental healthcare, but rather to become the change the world needs.
         

 
Biplaw Rai, MBA
Biplaw is the co-founder and co-owner of Dudley Cafe in Roxbury. He is also a community organizer who seeks to empower all those around him. His passion for fresh local food was inspired by his loving parents who showed him that food can bring people from all walks of life together. Biplaw has a B.S in political science from Truman State University, and a Masters in Business from Hamline University. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. It is Biplaw's intention that Dudley Cafe be more than a fine food establishment, but also a platform for community partnership and mobilization, and it is his goal that the Cafe be a forum for empowering Roxbury community. Biplaw speaks three languages- English, Nepali, and Hindi. He appreciates good food and nature. Therefore, when he is not at the Cafe, you may find him, his partner Nyacko, and their two fur babies, Moxie and Momo, at the Franklin park.   
David Mischoulon, M.D, Ph.D
Medical Consultant
Dr. Mischoulon completed his medical education at Boston University School of Medicine, and currently practices as a board certified psychiatrist at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). His clinical interests includes mood disorders, psychopharmacology, acupuncture, complementary and alternative medicine. Currently, Dr. Mischoulon serves as an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and director at the MGH Depression Clinical and Research Program (DCRP). He has authored and co-authored over 200 articles, speaks French and Spanish, and enjoys reading the Players Tribune articles in his free time.