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Katherine Ponte, JD, MBA

Lecturer in Psychiatry

Contact Information

Katherine Ponte, JD, MBA


Katherine Ponte, BA, JD, MBA, CPRP is a mental health advocate, author, non-profit leader, entrepreneur, coach, lawyer and lecturer in psychiatry. At Yale, she is currently contributing to research on how the financial services and retail industries could better serve low income people, particularly people with mental illness. She has a BA and JD from leading Canadian universities and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She is the child of immigrants and a first-generation high school graduate, who grew up in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Canada where she was a leading education advocate. Katherine has been living with severe bipolar I disorder with psychosis and extended periods of suicidal depression for over twenty years. Since reaching recovery in 2018, Katherine has committed herself to helping people affected by mental illness reach recovery through various initiatives. Katherine founded ForLikeMinds, an online peer support community for people living with or supporting someone with mental illness, and built a platform of recovery-focused mental health initiatives around it. She actively leads an online mental health community of over 100,000 people on the ForLikeMinds platform. She created Psych Ward Greeting Cards, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that is a leading psychiatric hospital outreach program. The program distributes donated greeting cards with recovery messages and gifts to psychiatric unit patients at leading hospitals to inspire hope for recovery. It has reached well over 10,000 patients. Katherine also created BipolarThriving, which provides one-on-one Bipolar Recovery Coaching to people with bipolar and their supporters. Katherine is the author of ForLikeMinds: Mental Illness Recovery Insights; and Your Mental Health Recovery Workbook: A Workbook to Share Hope (Trigger Publishing) reviewed in Psychiatric Times; and co-author of Loving Someone with a Serious Mental Illness: Caring for Your Loved One and Yourself on the Journey to Mental Health Recovery (New Harbinger Publications, forthcoming), and a contributor to the National Alliance on Mental Illness Blog and Psychology Today Blog. Her personal accounts have been published in Psychiatric Services and Schizophrenia Bulletin. She has been a speaker at the NewYork-Presbyterian Westchester Behavioral Health Center Psychosocial Rehabilitation Department Grand Rounds and at various industry conferences and seminars. She is also a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner and New York Certified Peer Specialist-Provisional. Katherine is a member of the Board of the National Alliance on Mental Illness-New York City and a member of Fountain House. She is the recipient of the highest honor in the bipolar disorder community, the Mogens Schou Award. She is committed to increasing mental health awareness, especially for people living with serious mental illness, through these efforts and by sharing her story publicly. Her Recovery Journey and Talking About Mental Illness videos have been viewed over one million times and writings have been viewed over 850,000 times. She has also been interviewed by major news outlets, including CBS, CNN, INSIDER, and WebMD on topics related to mental health. Katherine's life mission is to inspire others to believe that mental illness recovery is possible and to help them reach it.

Education & Training

  • MBA
    Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (2001)
  • JD
    Osgoode Hall Law School, York University (1994)
  • BA
    University of Western Ontario, Political Science (1991)

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
Mogens Schou Award for Public Service and AdvocacyInternational Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD)2021
Innovative Women Leaders in Global Mental HealthColumbia University Global Mental Health Programs2019

Departments & Organizations