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Mark L O'Brien
Mark L O'Brien

Mark L O'Brien

Post Traumatic Growth Expert

Mark L. O’Brien is a leading advocate and change-maker in trauma, substance use, mental health, and criminal justice. He is the founder and executive director of Trauma Informed, where he designs and leads programs to support trauma survivors and improve the way organizations respond to trauma; founding partner of Springlake Solutions LLC, where he provides strategic consulting to mission-driven organizations working in behavioral health and public safety; adjunct professor of political science at Towson University; assistant instructor at the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center; and a master’s level positive psychology practitioner and posttraumatic growth coach.

Mark previously served as Executive Vice President of Addiction Policy Forum where he led efforts to educate the public, policymakers, families, and patients about the disease of addiction and support those grieving a substance-related loss. He was Baltimore City’s Director of Opioid Overdose Prevention where he managed a high-profile overdose response cited as a model by President Barack Obama. And as the Director of Communications and a Senior Policy Associate at the Legal Action Center, Mark worked with advocates, members of Congress, and White House staff to reduce barriers for people with criminal records and expand access to addiction treatment for those in the criminal justice system. 

Mark L O'Brien

Crashing: I Love You. Forgive Me

Crashing: I Love You. Forgive Me.

In this powerful, unforgettable memoir, Mark L. O’Brien examines the profound consequences of the moment that forever changed his life and cut short the life of the woman he loved. The morning after a birthday party she threw for him, Mark woke up in the hospital to learn that his girlfriend was dead, and he might be going to prison for causing the car crash that killed her.
With piercing insight and stark prose, Mark L. O’Brien leads us on a deeply personal, intimate, and emotional journey—grappling with loss, regret, and his fragmented memories of the night of the crash, questioning a new relationship fraught with immense shame and colored by his continued attachment to his lost love, and wondering whether questions about his guilt and the forgiveness of his girlfriend’s family would keep him out of prison. Along the way, he delivers an unflinching exploration of grief, mercy, and the fractured path from loss to meaning. The result is a staggering and inspiring tour de force.
As seen in The Washington Post and on Jada Pinkett Smith’s Emmy award-winning Red Table Talk, Mark L. O’Brien’s story will inspire readers with its powerful message of hope and its heart-wrenching illustration of the human spirit’s capacity to discover seeds of meaning in even the most painful experiences.

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