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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.

Each NTAC is organized by SAMHSA to focus on specific topic areas of concentration that can be offered through virtual training and technical assistance or product development for the whole country while also offering direct training and technical assistance to specific states, territories or tribal governments. The STAR Center is charged with supporting four target states/territories Rhode Island, New Mexico, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. read more...

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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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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

Oppression and Privilege Framework

Difference, Power, and Privelege

A Structural Analysis of Oppression

STAR Center News

Upcoming STAR Center Webinar

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 Coalition for Mental Health Recovery; 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.

Register Now

Upcoming STAR Center Meeting:

DC Area Trauma Informed Community Initiative: Update "The single most important thing that we need today is the courage to look this problem in the face and say, this is real and this is all of us. I believe that we are the movement." Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Center for Youth Wellness

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can have devastating social, physical, and emotional impacts into adulthood. The movement to address ACEs and build resilient, trauma-informed communities is growing across the US and has come to DC! The DC area Trauma Informed Community Initiative began in December 2014. Join members of the steering committee for an update on the work done thus far, and learn how you and others can join this new local movement.

Date: Thursday, April 23, 2015
Time: 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Dorothy I. Height/Benning Neighborhood Library
BEN Lg Meeting Room
3935 Benning Rd. NE
Washington, D.C. 20019


Allen Sweatt, CPRS, CPS, RPS, Peer Specialist, Catholic Charities Anchor Mental Health ACT Team; Leah Harris, Director, National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery and Elizabeth Prewitt, Policy Analyst and Community Manager, ACEs Connection, steering committee


  • What do existing data tell us about the impact of ACES in the DC Area?
  • Who are the community partners we should be engaging in this initiative?
  • Learn about upcoming trauma informed community events and training opportunities

For more information, please contact tryder@nami.org.

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Trauma Informed Care: "Inspiring Hope, Building Resilience Through Trauma-Informed Communities"

Date: May 12-13, 2015
Location: Washington Friends Meeting Placey
2111 Florida Ave.
SE Washington, DC 20008

Keynote speaker Elizabeth Prewitt, Policy Analyst and Community Manager for ACEs Connection Network


Join The Campbell Center for our annual May is Mental Health Month Event. This year we will be hosting our second annual conference on Trauma Informed Care: Inspiring Hope, Building Resilience Through Trauma-Informed Communities. Our keynote speaker Elizabeth Prewitt, Policy Analyst and Community Manager for the ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Connection Network will open the conference with an overview of ACEs and the movement across the country to build trauma informed communities.

To Register

For more information call or email (202) 241-6317

Recent STAR Center Events

STAR Center Webinar:

Title: Native American Health and Healing Approaches

Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Time: 2 - 3:30 p.m. ET


Shirley Montoya and Anthony Lee, Healing Circles Wellness Center in Shiprock, New Mexico; Rudy Soto, National Council on Urban Indian Health.


Understanding and embracing indigenous healing approaches is an important way to move forward in addressing healthcare inequalities, especially in Native communities. In this STAR Center webinar, our presenters shared examples of self-care and healing approaches that are used in urban, rural and frontier communities, described the history, foundations, values and standards inherent in these approaches as well as offered recommendations for how these approaches may be better engaged by Native people in states, territories and tribal governments across the country.

We hope you are engaged, educated and empowered by this provocative and inspiring webinar presentation on approaches to eliminating the health and mental health disparities in our communities.

Speaker Bios:

Rev. Shirley Montoya, Project Manager, Healing Circle Wellness Center in Shiprock, NM.

The Reverend Shirley Montoya was born and raised in the valley of Shiprock, New Mexico and graduated Cum Laude with a Sociology/Human Services degree and earned her Master of Divinity Degree from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. As an Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church of the Desert Southwest Annual Conference, she served as Dean of Academic Affairs at Cook College & Theological School in Tempe, Arizona, Director of the Northern Navajo United Methodist Ministry in Kayenta, Arizona, Associate Pastor at Christ United Methodist Church in Tucson, Arizona and Senior Pastor at the United Methodist Church in Patagonia, Arizona.

She is currently the Project Manager for the Healing Circle Wellness Center in Shiprock, NM. The Community Wellness Center provide resources to Relatives (consumers) seeking sobriety and recovery support through the teachings of the Dine' Way of life. Rev. Montoya also serves as Chairperson of the Four Corners Native American Ministry Board, member of the Shiprock Historical Society and To'nihaiyilya: Growing Our Dreams, Inc., Restoring & Celebrating Family Wellness Committeeand the Dine' Community Advocacy Alliance. Rev. Montoya's hope for the Dine' Nation is that all families are safe, healthy, and prosperous and live out the Dine' way of life, simply, "To Walk in Beauty".

Anthony Lee, Traditional and Culture Instructor, Healing Circle Wellness Center

Anthony has been teaching and sharing oral history of the Dineh (Navajo) people, as well as The Athabaskin tribes, since 1999. He has also been with the Healing Circle Wellness Center now for 5 years as a Traditional and Culture Instructor. Most of the teachings are at "hard core" level of Tradition: How 'wellness' is obtained through tradition.

Anthony is an apprenticed story keeper through the Late Jon Dis Chilli (Kii ya a nii), medicine man and mentor. He is also an advocate for The Preservation of The Historical Dinetah Ancient areas and a member of the The Navajo Historical Society.

Rudy Soto (Shoshone-Bannock), Policy Analyst for the National Council of Urban Indian Health

Rudy Soto (Shoshone-Bannock) is a Policy Analyst for the National Council of Urban Indian Health. While serving on Capitol Hill as the Hatfield Fellow with the Office of Congressman Schrader, Rudy gained insight about policy and advocacy through attending briefings, hearings, and participating in legislative meetings with the representative. As a youth engagement specialist at the National Indian Child Welfare Association he worked with urban Indian and reservation based communities around the country. As a project assistant for a suicide prevention grant at the Native American Rehabilitation Association in Portland, he helped facilitate community meetings and engaged in dialogue and leadership development with community youth. In Washington DC, as part of the Native American Political Leadership Program, Rudy received training in community organizing, which educated him on effective ways to reach out through modern technologies. He is passionate about improve the health and well being of Indian country and serves in the Army National Guard on the side.

View Webinar Recording
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Shirley and Anthony- Presentation
Rudy Soto- Presentation
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Links to Additional Resources:
U.S. Department of the Interior: Trace Indian Ancestry
The Pursuit of Happiness: Personal Wellbeing and the Management of Stress
Self-Care While Caring For Others: Methods & Strategies for Wellness- Webinar Part 2
Relational Worldview
ACEs Connection
ACEs Connection Network: Native Americans

Title: One Size Does Not Fit All: Closing the Mental Health Disparities Gap for African-American Communities

Date: Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Time: 2 - 3:30 p.m. ET


Nicki King, Ph.D., and Jim Gilmer, M.A., Co-Directors of the African American Strategic Planning Workgroup of the California Reducing Disparities Project; Bennie Crayton, Prevention Specialist, Ventura County Mental Health; Vincent Shelton, Transition Age Youth Focus Group facilitator and participant, Beyond the Beats and the Lyrics narrator; Mark Spencer, Co-Founder/President Lavlife Foundation and Co-Founder Hip-Hop Collective Group and Member of California Reducing Disparities Project African American Strategic Planning Work Group; Chief Calvin Handy, retired law enforcement officer.


The California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP) recently released the Strategic Plan to Reduce Mental Health Disparities which was developed in partnership with the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) and workgroups from five populations - African Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders (API), Latinos, Native Americans, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) communities. Building on their 2012 report We Ain't Crazy! Just Coping with a Crazy System, the African American Strategic Planning Workgroup recently developed a video called Beyond the Beat and the Lyrics, and a Facilitator's Guide to increase dialogue and understanding of the impact of stigma and discrimination on the mental health status of transition age African-American men. Join us for a provocative and informative webinar presentation on recommendations for systems transformation to reduce disparities that may apply or be useful in your community.

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STAR Center Meeting

Building Resilience Through Trauma Informed Communities: How Do We Get Started?

Date: Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Time: 1 - 2:30 p.m. ET

Dorothy I. Height/Benning Neighborhood Library
3935 Benning Rd. NE
Washington, D.C. 20019

Moderator: Chacku Mathai, CPRP, Director, STAR Center
Panelists: Leah Harris, M.A., Director of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery; Iden Campbell McCollum, CPRP, Executive Director of The Campbell Center;

A movement to create Trauma-Informed Communities is well underway across the United States and Canada. A Community Resilience Cookbook was recently created to highlight these initiatives and offer interested communities some resources and suggested ways to move forward. Continue the conversation about Community Resilience in the DC Metro Area.

Meeting Handouts and Resources:

ACEs Infographic
Reflection Questions

Community of Practice

STAR Center Community of Practice on Collaborative Leadership: Featuring an Interview with Lauren Spiro

Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Time: 2 - 3:30 p.m. ET

Every day we are faced with opportunities to make a real difference in our communities. Do we offer our unique contribution or just keep it to ourselves?

Lauren's Dialogues of Discovery model is a testament to the power of dialogue to transform consciousness and an invitation to explore topics such as: How to redefine who you are, how to fill the emptiness in your soul, and how to learn to forgive - ourselves as well as others who have harmed us. Lauren will discuss how to discover your vision of how you want the community or the world to be and what specific steps you can begin taking towards that vision.

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