Mental Health Awareness: Featuring Dr. John Robertson

Dr. John Robinson


ORLANDO – Planted in our midst is Dr. John Robertson, a licensed clinical psychologist who has practiced in the Orlando area for the past 15 years. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer, (CEO) of Robertson and Associates Psychological Services, LLC. He is also the Executive Director of the Multi-Cultural Addictions Network, Inc. a 501(c)(3), Non-profit organization.

Dr. Robertson, like many others, has a multifaceted background. He is Jamaican born to parents, John Milton Robertson, and Frances Geraldine Robertson, (both deceased) who instilled in him the value and necessity of education. In his early years in Jamaica, he lived in a country town called Grove Place Settlement outside of Mandeville, Manchester Parish. To find a better life, his parents emigrated to the U.S. but had to leave him with trusted friends, while they found jobs in New York City. At age 4, John re-joined his family who had relocated to Harlem in New York. At around the age of eleven (11) years old, his family moved from Harlem to Mt. Vernon, NY, a multi-cultural, multi-racial community comprised mostly of people of Irish, Italian, Jewish, and a small percentage of African Americans. Mt. Vernon was indeed an example of diversity.

While in Harlem, his parents, seeking better education than was available in the public schools at that time, enrolled him in a Catholic School from first to fifth grade, though they were staunch “Anglicans”, His early Catholic school education and public school education in Mount Vernon prepared him for competing in challenging academic settings. Many African American youths of that day were not directed to attend academic high schools but were propelled toward vocational high schools. John had a yearning to prove to himself and to the community that he had abilities and aspirations that would allow him to attend and excel in an academic environment. He received a partial scholarship to run track at Michigan State University. While there he was exposed to a wide variety of white as well as high-achieving African-American students and remains a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi to this day. College whetted his appetite to go further and further. After graduating from Michigan State, John moved back to New York where he enrolled and earned a Master of Education Degree from Teachers College, Columbia University with a concentration in rehabilitation and counseling psychology. John’s course of study and employment in an “Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Facility” prompted him to pursue a doctorate in Counseling Psychology with a clinical concentration from New York University.

Despite working two to three jobs at times, John’s father showed all the signs of being a “functional alcoholic”, compelling John to learn and understand how his dad had become an alcoholic. His mother was the “rock” of the family and held the family together, despite his father’s issues. John believed that “race and racism had played a role in his father’s problems; his dad was short-tempered and exhibited some of the same characteristics/behaviors of the alcoholics that he had worked with in his work with alcoholics and employment thereafter. His dad’s issues were seen by the Caribbean culture of the family as “something you just had to put up with”.

Dr. Robertson, after working with a wide variety of mental patients, including alcoholics and substance abusers learned that with proper treatment people can move from “hopelessness and helplessness” to a state of recovery. He saw that Mental Health Services can make a difference and that Recovery is a journey. He saw Recovery as a process that takes hard work and self-commitment, and that individuals can become assets to the community instead of liabilities. The recovery process is continual as it guides the person to self-discovery and a renewed attitude towards a better quality of life. For alcoholics, recovery treatment services can move one away from “drinking to thinking”. Mental Health Services for any type of substance abuse can lead to social, emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual stability.

Dr. Robertson has treated many other mental health problems besides depression, anxiety, narcissism, and eating disorders, such as Bulimia, Anorexia, Personality disorders, and psychotic disorders. Additionally, Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may have a myriad of symptoms, including but not limited to suicidal ideation. Any and each of these illnesses can happen to a person for a variety of reasons and are treatable.

Unfortunately, many people who can benefit from mental health services shy away from seeking helpful treatment due to the stigma that’s often linked to this type of service. Community involvement and Mental Health Awareness Programs like the Take Your Loved One to the Doctor Day, Caribbean Summit, Church Health Fairs, Community Outreach Programs, Medical Doctors’ referrals, Insurance Companies’ referrals, and Word-of-Mouth can make a tremendous difference to those seeking help. As a person of faith, Dr. Robertson continues to work on Mental Health Issues as a member of the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist in Orlando and nationally, as Chair of the Union of Black Episcopalians Mental Health Task Force.

Dr. Robertson and his staff of dedicated therapists are working to expand access to Mental Health Services in Orlando and surrounding communities through his practice of Mental Health Counseling, Psychotherapy, Training, and Internships for Mental Health Clinicians in need of clinical hours for licensure. Many outpatient services are offered to individuals, small groups, families, couples, and other entities who may benefit from Mental Health, emotional and psychological care.

For more information on the services offered, please contact: Robertson & Associates Pscychological Services, LLC, 4019 Clarcona-Ocoee Road, Orlando, FL 32810. 407-297-1185 x101

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7