National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy

Chacku Mathai, CPRP

Chacku Mathai is an Indian-American, born in Kuwait, who has over twenty-eight years of experience in mental health and addiction community based services in a wide variety of roles including youth leader, peer advocate, peer support meeting facilitator, self-help educator, community organizer and educator, community residence manager, psychiatric rehabilitation practitioner, trainer and program administrator.

He currently serves as the Director for the NAMI STAR Center, a National Technical Assistance Center on Consumer/Peer-Run Programs (NTAC) funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of the overall program is to provide technical assistance to facilitate the restructuring of the mental health system by promoting recovery and consumer directed approaches.

Chacku was formerly the Associate Executive Director for the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services and an implementation partner for the New York State Center of Excellence for the Integration of Care (CEIC), the SAMHSA Northeast Addiction Technology Transfer Network (NE-C ATTC), the SAMHSA Recovery to Practice Resource Center for Behavioral Health Professionals and the SAMHSA Bringing Recovery Supports To Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS-TACS). Chacku was also appointed to the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) Credentialing Board. He served as a founding board member and advocate for Friends of Recovery - New York, a statewide coalition of people in recovery from addiction and is a former member of the Commission that oversees the United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (USPRA) Certification Program for Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioners (CPRP). Chacku is regularly invited to train across the country on building collaborations across addiction and mental health recovery communities and systems, peer support, cultural competence, employment and economic self-sufficiency, leadership, systems advocacy and implementing exemplary, integrated practices in supporting recovery for people with psychiatric disabilities, diagnoses, trauma related conditions and co-occurring substance use conditions. Chacku's personal experiences as a youth and young adult in mental health and addiction recovery in New York launched Chacku and his family towards a number of efforts to advocate for improved services and alternative supports in the community.