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Katherine Ponte, JD, MBA

Lecturer in Psychiatry


Katherine Ponte, BA, JD, MBA, CPRP is a mental health advocate, writer, 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 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. She actively manages an online mental health community of over 75,000 people on the ForLikeMinds platform. As part of ForLikeMinds, she created Psych Ward Greeting Cards, 501(c)(3), a leading psychiatric outreach program that distributes donated greeting cards with recovery messages and gifts through in-person visits and shipments. The program provides peer support to psychiatric patients at the Payne Whitney Clinic at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Westchester Behavioral Health Center, Lenox Hill Hospital and Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital. She also runs BipolarThriving, which provides Bipolar Recovery Coaching. 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 and presented at the NewYork-Presbyterian Westchester Behavioral Health Center Psychosocial Rehabilitation Department Grand Rounds. She is also a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner, New York Certified Peer Specialist-Provisional, and New York Certified Addiction Recovery Coach. 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 and writings have been viewed by well over one million people. 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 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