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Featured STAR Center Resources

Cultural Competency in Mental Health Tool link
Cultural Competency in Mental Health Peer Run Programs and Self-Help Groups

Competencia cultural SC-Cultural Competency in Mental Health Tool in SPANISH link
Competencia cultural en salud mental. Programas dirigidos por pares y grupos de utoayuda: Una herramienta para evaluar y mejorar sus servicios
Self-Advocacy Empower Toolkit link
Self-Advocacy and Empowerment Toolkit

Autoabogacia y Empoderamiento Toolkit in SPANISH link
Guía para el empoderamiento y la defensa de los derechos propios Para individulos involucrados en el sistema de justicia
Promising Practices link
Promising Practices Guide Supporting the Recovery of Justice-Involved Consumers

Practicas Prometedoras link
Guía de prácticas prometedoras Apoyando la recuperación de los usuarios involucrados en el sistema de justicia

Featured Presentations

Hogg Foundation for Mental Health Keynote Presentation:
The Evolving Role of Peer Support in Health Care by Chacku Mathai

Into the Fold Podcast: Issues in Mental Health by Hogg Foundation for Mental Health
Episode 6: Peer Support as Innovative Disruption by Chacku Mathai

About Us

Chacku Mathai
STAR Center Director

Tanya C. Ryder
STAR Center Project Manager

The STAR Center is one of the five National Technical Assistance Centers funded by SAMHSA to support mental health systems transformation. The purpose of the overall program is to provide technical assistance that facilitates the restructuring of the mental health system by promoting recovery and consumer directed approaches. read more...

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Technical Assistance


The STAR Center is funded by a grant from the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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Justice Involved

Links to resources in languages other than English.

What is Cultural Competence?

STAR Center Resources

Justice Materials link
Archive of STAR Center Resources

Additional Resources

Building Bridges, LGBT Populations: A Dialogue on Advancing Opportunities for Recovery from Addictions and Mental Health Problems

Community Conversations About Mental Health Toolkit

Hogg Foundation Report on Eliminating Disparities through Integrated Health

HHS Plan to Reduce Disparities

Institute of Medicine on Eliminating Disparities

Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy

Behavioral Health United States 2012

The Dynamic System of Power, Privelege and Oppression

Gender: Power and Privelege

Five Faces of Oppression

Difference, Power, and Privelege

A Structural Analysis of Oppression

STAR Center News

Understanding the Work of the Peer: Competencies and Challenges

Date: Friday, December 4, 2015
Time: Noon-1:00pm ET / 11:00am-Noon CT / 10:00am-11:00am MT / 9:00am-10:00am PT
Listen to webinar recording: http://brsstacs.center4si.com/2DecFFRec.mp3

First Fridays with BRSS TACS is a free monthly opportunity to meet with nationally recognized leaders to discuss recovery related topics in an open and informal setting. You are invited to join on Friday, December 4, 2015 in a virtual meeting room to hear about understanding the work of the peer (competencies and challenges) and to submit your questions for Chacku Mathai and Cheryl Gagne.

Meet the Presenters:

Chacku Mathai, CPRP
Director of the

Cheryl Gagne, Sc.D.
Senior Associate at the Center for Social Innovation

Chacku Mathai's Portrait picture

Click here to learn more about Mr. Mathai.

Dr. Cheryl Gagne's Portrait picture

Click here to learn more about Dr. Gagne.

Who Should Attend

Consumers and people in recovery, behavioral health providers, peer providers, providers of other health and human services (primary health care, housing, employment), policymakers, and researchers.

Congratulations to Proyecto Somos Muchos on this excellent podcast series! Even if you don't speak Spanish, you'll love it!

soundcloud link

To listen click here

STAR Center Webinars

Title: STAR Center Interview with Gilberto Romero, PHK: A Public Health Approach to Mental Health

Date: Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Time: 2- 3:30 p.m. ET

Gilberto Romero Portrait picture

Presenters: Gilberto Romero, PHK

Gilberto Romero, PHK Mr. Romero has a long history of mental health advocacy and has been recognized with prestigious awards from many national organizations (the New Mexico Governor's Recognition of Achievement in Aging Award 2007, National People of Color Consumer Survivor Network, Esperanza Hope Memorial Award, Latino Behavioral Health Institute, New Mexico Public Health Association, American Association for World Health, Parents of Behaviorally Different Children and the National Association of Social Workers, and the Public Citizen of the Year Award). Mr. Romero was also appointed by the Governor to the New Mexico Board of Social Work Examiners. Mr. Romero is a former Board Member of National Latino Behavioral Health Association and Latino Tenemos Voz. Mr. Romero has extensive knowledge of the mental health system on the national, state, and local level, strong communications skills, and valued experiential knowledge as an advocate and consumer of mental health services. He hosted a radio program in New Mexico on mental health awareness for 18 years. Mr. Romero has a wide range of expertise on mental health policy issues including education, public awareness campaigns, media, community services, peer support, homelessness, criminal justice issues, cultural diversity, discrimination and social exclusion, and co-occurring disorders.


Join us for a STAR Center Interview, featuring Gilberto Romero, PHK from Santa Cruz, New Mexico. Mr. Romero has a long history of mental health advocacy and hosted a radio program in New Mexico on mental health awareness for 18 years. Mr. Romero has a wide range of expertise on mental health policy issues including education, public awareness campaigns, media, community services, peer support, homelessness, criminal justice issues, cultural diversity, discrimination and social exclusion, and co-occurring disorders.

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60 Seconds With Gilberto Romero (video)
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Title: Understanding the Role of Hip Hop Culture to Improve Outreach, Engagement and Recovery for People with Serious Mental Health Conditions.

Date: Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Time: 2- 3:30 p.m. ET


Celia Brown, New York State Office of Mental Health Office of Consumer Affairs; Luis Lopez, Center for Practice Innovations at Columbia Psychiatry; Matthew Petitte, Mental Health Association of Rochester/Monroe County; Josh Trujillo, Inside Out Recovery, Espanola, NM.


"When we made Hiphop, we made it hoping it would be about peace, love, unity and having fun so that people could get away from the negativity that was plaguing our streets..." Afrika Bambaataa, the universal Zulu Nation. Emerging from the streets of the Bronx in New York City over 45 years ago, Hip Hop culture is now a world-wide platform for self-expression and cross-cultural connection. Hip hop is now recognized as an effective medium for mental health and addiction recovery engagement and recovery support. For example, the Lancet recently published an article (December, 2014) about the University of Cambridge's Hip Hop Psych initiative that recognizes hip-hop as helping to positively transform lives and achieve a sense of empowerment, street knowledge, resilience, and self-healing. Join us for an exciting dialogue with members of our recovery communities in New York and New Mexico as they review their personal and professional experience in applying Hip Hop as a means for cultural engagement and meaningful recovery support.

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Chacku Mathai
Josh Trujillo
Luis Lopez
Celia Brown
Matthew Petitte
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Title: The Zero Suicide Movement and How Peers and Family Members Can Get Involved

Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Time: 3 - 4:30 p.m. ET


Michael Hogan, PhD, Hogan Health Solutions; Leah Harris, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors; Julie Goldstein Grumet, PhD, Suicide Prevention Resource Center.


As suicide rates among young people and veterans continue to rise, people with mental health conditions remain at the highest risk. This includes people and families in crisis who are already relying on mental health services. Such services need to do a much better job of engaging their needs and wellness while minimizing the use of coercive and institutional "solutions." The presenters will highlight several new national initiatives: the Zero Suicide movement that seeks to make health care safer, and a just-released national report, "The Way Forward: Pathways to Hope, Recovery and Wellness with Insights from Lived Experience," that seeks to bridge the gaps between suicide attempt survivors, mental health policy makers, suicide prevention leaders, and program implementers.

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