For over a decade, Kelechi has worked in the California mental health system in the areas of research and advocacy, community engagement, stigma reduction, youth development and peer support.
She began her career as an investigative reporter in New York City, and was the first student-reporter ever published in The New York Times.
After witnessing the impact of trauma and mental health issues on the people she was writing about, she decided to change her focus to providing direct mental health support. She relocated to California and started working at PEERS, a consumer-run mental health nonprofit. At PEERS, Kelechi supervised mental health programs, led communication operations, and partnered with Dr. Patrick Corrigan, on a project which provided mental health recovery story-telling trainings across 41 California counties. She also managed a Columbia University research project examining mental health stigma in the Chinese community with Dr. Lawrence Yang.
Kelechi transitioned to research and evaluation work at Resource Development Associates where she was a senior project manager, wrote grants, and conducted community-based participatory research spanning the fields of mental health, child welfare, education, and criminal justice . There she deeply worked on youth-designed mental health participatory action research (PAR) projects in Marin, Kings, and San Mateo counties.
A popular keynote speaker, Kelechi worked at CalMHSA as the Statewide Peer and Community Engagement Manager for a large technology project to bring digital mental health solutions to California counties. At CalMHSA, she conducted community outreach and engagement and facilitated listening sessions with over 250 stakeholders to develop digital mental health literacy programming. Kelechi also has a large body of work in suicide prevention, and published the book We’ve Been Too Patient in 2019.
Currently, Kelechi is a consultant working with clients dedicated to transforming mental health, substance use services, as well as justice system reform and workforce development. Her areas of specialty are training, workshop delivery and design, meeting and retreat facilitation, planning and research, curriculum development, and community engagement.
In summer of 2020, Kelechi Ubozoh dedicated her time to facilitating healing-centered spaces for Black employees internationally to respond to the ongoing violence toward the Black community. She also helped co-create the Discussions that Matter program with Heliana Ramirez, which placed peers and clinicians as co-facilitators of affinity groups to support important dialogue emerging in 2020 around race, mental health, radical healing, and moving toward liberation. In 2021, Kelechi was named a Mental Health Champion by the Steinberg Institute. In 2022, Kelechi became a certified Liberatory Coach from the BIPOC Coaching for Healing, Justice, and Liberation.