Dr. Nandini Murali, PhD
Principal Strategist, Intersectional Diversity, Mental Health, Avtar Group.
Nandini Murali, PhD is a certified life coach, a suicide prevention and mental health activist, author and a communications, and gender and diversity professional. She has a doctorate in Gender Studies, two postgraduate degrees each in English and Psychology, a diploma in journalism and advanced degrees in teaching English as a Foreign Language from the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad, India.
She has had more than two decades of experience in health journalism as an independent journalist. She has nearly thirty years of experience in the development sector in the areas of communications, gender, sexuality, masculinities, mental health, and communications. Her areas of professional interests include communications, mental health, Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR), gender, masculinities, Gender Based Violence (GBV), suicide prevention and postvention interventions for survivors of suicide loss.
She has worked with both national and international organizations in evaluation exercises, impact studies, case studies, process documents and conducting training workshops in documentation and communication, mental health, well-being, suicide prevention, gender, sexual and reproductive health rights. She has worked with diverse communities such as people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, vulnerable children, coastal communities, female sex workers, people with disabilities, differently gendered people and sexual minorities. She developed a set of 12 life skills module for LGBTQIA+ youth and affirmative approaches to counselling LGBTQIA+ clients: a resource manual for counsellors.
Nandini Murali’s lived experience of suicide loss inspired her to establish SPEAK (www.speakinitiative.org) an initiative of MS Chellamuthu Trust and Research Foundation, Madurai, to create safe supportive spaces to prevent suicide and promote mental health and SPEAK2us (93754 93754), a mental health helpline.
SPEAK is an initiative to create safe supportive spaces for informed conversations on suicide and promote mental health. Some of our core activities include awareness and sensitization of diverse stakeholders in suicide prevention, a mental health helpline for persons in psychological distress (SPEAK2us), early identification of persons at risk for suicide, treatment and intervention, postvention services and advocacy.
Based on her lived experience of losing her husband to suicide, her book Left Behind: Surviving suicide loss has been recently published ( Westland Publishers, February 2021). Left Behind is a memoir of the author’s journey through the wilderness of suicide grief and her transformation through the tragedy. A counter narrative to the dominant narrative of suicide, it reclaims the agency and power of those impacted to tell their stories on their terms and thereby reclaim their lives.
She has written five books, including fiction and nonfiction and is currently working on two other books. Her collection of poetry on love, loss and longing can be found at www.wildlfowerpoetry.com.
A seeker on a sacred quest, her daily spiritual practices have enriched her personal space and her writerly life. Passionate about wildlife photography, Nandini loves to wander in the forests with her camera.