Suchitra Chari is a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers and is an accredited mental health social worker, which is the gold standard for internationally acceptable standards in mental health social work services. She considers herself a global citizen of Indian origin and has lived in Australia since 1987. After a brief career in banking, she become a social worker in late 1990’s to make sense of her many traumatic experiences from early childhood into adult hood in India and Australia.
Suchitra is a survivor of serial child sexual abuse by many family members and extreme domestic violence in her married life. She is incredibly proud of her personal and professional accomplishments despite a chronic history of mental illness due to her traumatic experiences. Her experiences has led her to form a ‘humanist’ view of the world. She now leads a congruent life premised on authenticity of self, compassion for those experiencing suffering and acceptance of individual differences.
Suchitra is a noted public speaker and has spoken in many forums, including local media and television, to raise awareness of multi-dimensional impact of domestic violence and sexual abuse on survivors’ family and society. She has extensive experience in community mental health work and is trained in a range of therapeutic interventions such as acceptance commitment therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, mindfulness-based interventions and brief intervention therapy. She is a trained Mindfulness Therapist and actively promotes Self Compassion and her own version of Elemental Healing practices to sustain recovery and wellness.
This blend of her lived experiences and comprehensive professional experiences as an executive leader in large federal departments and not for profit community agencies has enabled Suchitra to engage in discourses and interventions that are holistic, compassionate and client centred. She has coached and mentored professionals; assisted women and youth in life transition phases from a strength based perspective; supported families from a solution focussed model and helped organisations to build capability and capacity to meet emerging social health needs. .
Currently she is authoring her autobiography, “The Freedom Seed” due to be published by October 2018. Through this narration she highlights the socio political factors in India that gave her limited opportunity for early disclosure of abuse; subsequent challenges for both herself and her family upon disclosure; the ineffective criminal and legal systems and the dichotomy of living across two cultures where these issues are addressed so differently.
She aspires to contribute to the development of evidence based responses to child sexual abuse in India and also raise awareness of risks to social health for women and children particularly in the fields of mental health, sexual abuse and domestic violence.