5 Questions with Dr. Octavius Brown: DOC Octavirus Mental Health Services

By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media

CAMDEN – Dr. Octavius Brown said he was going into the education field, but God had other plans for him.

Brown, owner of DOC Octavius Mental Health Services, said while being the only mental health provider with a booth at the Business Black Expo at Camden’s First Nazarene Baptist Church on Saturday, he believe it should be one of the first things Blacks should think about in healthcare.

Brown was one of nearly 70 African American vendors to celebrate Black History Month by displaying goods and services they recreated with their own inspiration, determination and spirit.

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The Dr. Octavius Brown File

Name: Dr. Octavius Brown

Name of Business: DOC Octavius Mental Health Services, LLC

Address: P.O. Box 5891 Somerset, N.J. 08875

Specialize in: Mental health issues, behavioral issues and marriage counseling

Contact info: 914-261-6532, octaviusbrown@aol.com, mydococtavius.com

1. FRNJ: How did you get into this line of work?

Dr. Octavius Brown: I was called by the goodness of the Lord. This was not something I wanted to do. I wanted to be a high school math teacher. The good thing is that the Lord put me into counseling. I was in North Carolina and that’s when I heard about it. It’s a long story. The bottom line is that I was called to do this. This was not my idea. After I left Verizon, I wanted to go into teaching. But instead of teaching, I am into mental health counseling, substance abuse and everything else.

2. FRNJ: What are some of the biggest challenges Blacks face with mental health?

Dr. Octavius Brown: Here in America, not only do we need help dealing with the daily issues but with the daily challenges caused by institutionalized racism. We are constantly being bombarded with misinformation and all kinds of situations that are designed for us to fail. I’m trying to help you from a mental health standpoint so you can go along with your daily life and function in society.

3. FRNJ: There is a stigma in the Black community about mental health. How do you address that?

Dr. Octavius Brown: The stigma in our community is a fact, which is why you have to find the correct therapist. Some people see you as a stereotype. In my case, I will see you as an individual. From there, I will break down what is the problem. I won’t stigmatize anybody who walks through my door. That’s the problem too many times. You have different cultures stigmatizing that person instead of looking at the person.

4. FRNJ: You mentioned that you really enjoy marriage counseling. Why is that?

Dr. Octavius Brown: That is the foundation of why God created us. Let’s be real. He said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’ and raise the family. What’s happened is so many times the family don’t realize that he or she is going into a marriage with baggage that is from the developmental years that never took time to process. They think they are okay. Especially if you’re a minority and dealing with institutionalized racism that has been happening from the day you came out the womb. So we help you process that to realize that you are somebody andrealize how important you are, and how to actually see people as an individual that can have their own perception. I am somebody.

5. FRNJ: Anything else you would like to add?

Dr. Octavius Brown: We provide family therapy, occupational health, children, adolescents and and adult individual mental health, pastoral therapy and in-home therapy and clinical supervision. Our mission  is to provide mental health counseling that focuses on treating individuals with courtesy, honesty and respect where the maintenance of one’s dignity is our priority.

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