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Black licensed therapist opens up new office in Depew focusing on the Black community

A Black-owned private mental health practice in Depew opened last month. It's been an important resource, especially during the pandemic and after the Tops shooting.

DEPEW, N.Y. — One of the first Black-owned private mental health practices in Western New York just opened its doors in July. It's been an important resource, especially during the pandemic and after the Tops mass shooting.

The new space is for people to focus on their mental health and Aleese Flunder, LMHC-P, MHC wants to focus mainly on the Black community and she's not afraid to say that.

Flunder is a licensed mental health therapist. She has been a therapist since last year and is thrilled to finally be able to open up her own space.

It's called Vines Talk Healing and is located in Depew.

She said people in the community have already reached out. With the recent Tops shooting, it's triggered issues regarding racial inequity and diversity.

Flunder said people are now trying to find ways to cope and how to move on and still be happy and healthy.

She said it's not going to be easy, but she is there to help.

"I want to make them more aware about mental health and emotional health and release some of the taboos we have within the Black community — the generational curses, so to speak — and the things we were taught growing up, of you know. 'What happens in this house, stays in this house,' kind of idea. Trying to get rid of some of those things," she said.

She encourages people to try counseling, even if it's not with her. It's important to seek out someone who would be a good match for you.

Flunder's new space is located at 2478 George Urban Blvd. in Depew. 

To book an appointment, you can go to her website at www.vinestalkhealing.com. She's also available for corporate seminars and speaking events.

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