Katherine Ponte, BA, JD, MBA, CPRP is a mental health advocate, writer, non-profit founder, entrepreneur, lawyer and lecturer in psychiatry. She has a BA in political science from the University of Western Ontario, a JD from Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 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 Toronto, Canada. 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 manages an online mental health community of over 85,000 people on the ForLikeMinds platform. She created Psych Ward Greeting Cards, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that is a leading psychiatric outreach program. The program distributes donated greeting cards with recovery messages and gifts to psychiatric unit patients as a form of peer support. It currently partners with the Payne Whitney Clinic at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Westchester Behavioral Health Center, Lenox Hill Hospital and Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital. 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 a regular contributor to the National Alliance on Mental Illness Blog, the leading mental health blog in the U.S. 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 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 650,000 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's mission is to share her hope and inspire others to believe that mental illness recovery is possible and to help them reach it.
Education & Training
- MBAWharton School, University of Pennsylvania (2001)
- JDOsgoode Hall Law School, York University (1994)
- BAUniversity of Western Ontario, Political Science (1991)
Honors & Recognition
|Mogens Schou Award for Public Service and Advocacy||International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD)||2021|
|Innovative Women Leaders in Global Mental Health||Columbia University Global Mental Health Programs||2019|