Black History Month: African Americans Who Have Made an Impact on Addiction Treatment and Psychology

Throughout Black History Month, our nation honors African-Americans who have made significant contributions to our country. Famous names such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Frederick Douglass probably come to mind. As we close out the month, Liberation Programs would like to take an opportunity to introduce a few whose names may not be well known but who have made significant contributions to the treatment of mental illness and addiction.

 

Image of Dr. Maxie Clarence Maultsby Jr. Maxie Clarence Maultsby, Jr, M.D. (1932-2016) 

Dr. Maultsby was the founder of rational behavioral therapy, a type of cognitive behavioral therapy and counseling method. His work explored ways in which people can help themselves manage emotions and behaviors. In fact, his work helped make emotional self-help a legitimate focus of scientific research and clinical use. The type of therapy and counseling that Dr. Maultsby created is the first short-term drug-free technique of psychotherapy that produces long-term therapeutic results.

 

Image of Jacki McKinneyJacki McKinney, M.S.W. 

Ms. McKinney is a survivor. She experienced trauma at a young age and battled addiction and mental illness later in life. She is a family advocate specializing in issues affecting African-American women and their children, and is also a founding member of the National People of Color Consumer/Survivor Network. Ms. McKinney has been a consultant and advisor to the Center for Mental Health Services and is known for her moving

presentations to national audiences on issues such as seclusion and restraint, intergenerational family support, and minority issues in public mental health. She is a recipient of Mental Health America’s highest honor, the Clifford W.  Beers Award, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for her distinguished leadership and her advocacy on behalf of trauma survivors.

 

Related imageArthur C. Evans Jr., PhD

Dr. Evans is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Psychological Association. Prior to this role, he served as commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and

Intellectual disAbility Service. There he improved health outcomes and increased efficiency of service by adjusting the agency’s treatment philosophy, service delivery models, and fiscal policies. Evans spent the early part of his career in Connecticut as the deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (DMHAS). In this strategic role, he implemented recovery-oriented policies that addressed healthcare disparities and increased the use of evidence-based treatment practices.

 

The work Dr. Evans has done throughout his career has been recognized nationally and internationally, and he has been the recipient of prestigious awards.  He was named Advocate for Action in 2015 by the White House Office of National Drug Control. In 2013, he received the American Medical Association’s top government service award in health

care, the Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service. In 2013, Evans was also recognized by Faces and Voices of Recovery with the Lisa Mojer-Torres Award for his dedication to mental health advocacy.

 

Image result for Lawrence S. Brown, MDLawrence S. Brown, MD 

Lawrence S. Brown, MD is the Chief Executive Officer of START Treatment and Recovery Centers in Brooklyn, NY. Prior to this role, Dr. Brown led prominent organizations in the addiction treatment field. He served as President and Chair of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), as Chairman of the Board of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, and as a Board Member of both the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) and the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS.

 

Dr. Brown’s scientific contributions have resulted in the publication of over 100 peer-reviewed articles, chapters, and abstracts that focus on complications that stem from addiction and improving treatment of substance use disorders.  He is the recipient of the Addiction Medicine Physician of the Year Award from The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. He is currently a member of SAMHSA’s Drug Testing Advisory Board and he is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, American Society of Addiction Medicine, and The College on Problems of Drug Dependence. He also serves as medical advisor to the National Football League.

 

These individuals have dedicated their lives to improving treatment and services for those impacted by addiction and/or mental illness—and they made significant contributions along the way.  They are pioneers in our field of behavioral health, and we are grateful for their leadership.