Chacku Mathai

Director, STAR Center
Information, Support and Education

Chacku Mathai is an Indian-American born in Kuwait who got involved in mental health, addiction and public health advocacy when he was 15 years old. Chacku’s experiences as a trauma and suicide attempt survivor launched Chacku and his family towards several efforts to advocate for improved services and alternative supports in their community.

He has since accumulated over 30 years of experience through a wide variety of roles—from youth leadership and community organizing to executive and board management. 

What piece of your work at NAMI are you most proud of?

NAMI recently developed a report called “Engagement: A New Standard for Mental Health Care” that I contributed to by recommending subject matter experts and initiating earlier conversations about prioritizing engagement vs. compliance as an important measure in mental health care.

Who inspires you?

Lately, my inspiration comes from my daughter, who shows me that just being myself is the best place to be in any relationship.

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