Mental Illness Recovery Insights

I have been waiting for over 30 years for someone to write a book like this - an instructive and very practical guide - directly applicable to the everyday lives of persons living with mental illnesses and their loved ones - offering them a hand and leading them step by step through many of the lessons Katherine has had to learn mostly on her own - from creative, dogged, and prolonged efforts to find a way to build and maintain a full life in the face of a serious illness.”

Larry Davidson, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Yale University


Katherine Ponte, BA, JD, MBA, CPRP

is a mental health advocate, writer, non-profit founder, entrepreneur, and lawyer. She is also a Faculty Member of the Program for Recovery and Community Health, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Yale University. Katherine has been living with severe bipolar I disorder with psychosis and extended periods of suicidal depression for 20 years. She is now happily living in recovery.

Katherine created the ForLikeMinds peer support community, BipolarThriving coaching service, and Psych Ward Greeting Cards patient outreach program. She is a member of the Board of the National Alliance on Mental Illness-New York City and is a monthly contributor to the NAMI National Blog. Her life's mission is to share her hope, inspire others to believe that mental illness recovery is possible, and help them reach it.

Katherine’s mission is to share her hope and inspire others to believe that mental illness recovery is possible and help them reach it. In two years since reaching full recovery and starting to share her story publicly, her work has reached over one million people.


Part I

Our Journey

Stigma, Meet Hope

Me - and My Wife's Bipolar Diagnosis

Part II


Hope and Recovery

Power to Create Change Comes from Within

Two Antidotes to Stigma

The Many Impacts of Self-stigma

Embracing the Diversity within Us

The Stages of My Mental Illness

Helping People Accept Their Mental Illness Diagnoses

Understanding Mental Illness Triggers

Addressing Emotions with Mental Illness

Lived Experience Matters: Coming Out and Sharing

Talking about Mental Illness: Reaching In

The Example Celebrities with Mental Illness Set

Part III

Treatment and Recovery

Finding the Best Psychiatrist for You

How to Prepare for Your Psychiatric Appointment

Hope Starts with Mutual Peer Support

The Effectiveness of Peer Support within the Context of Mental Illness

Family-to-Family Peer Support

Shared Decision-making: Getting a Say in Your Care

Families Can Work Together

Finding the Best Medication Regimen

A Risk Too Big Not to Take: A Story of Recovery

What Is Recovery

Serious Mental Illness Recovery: The Basics

Psychiatric Rehabilitation

People with Mental Illness Can Work

The Mental Health Movement in the Workplace

Mental Health Peer Specialist Support

Building Mental Health Resilience

Ways to Manage and Cope with Stress

The Remarkable Human-Animal Bond

Coping with Mental Illness: What Not To Do

How Families Can Work Together

Working on Recovery with Loved Ones

Advice for Mental Illness Caregivers

Learning to Take Care of Myself

Part IV

Specific Experiences

Learning from Past Manias and Avoiding Future Relapses

Bipolar Depression: The Lows We Don't Talk About Enough

Understanding Schizophrenia

Turning Suicidal Ideation into Hope

Suicide: Saving Lives Now and Beyond

My Reality During a Psychotic Episode

Preventing and Preparing for a Mental Health Crisis

That Time in the Psych Ward

What Should I Gift My Loved One with Mental Illness

A Letter to Those Struggling with Mental Illness

Part V

Specific Communities

Suicide Prevention for College Students

Parents and their College Child's Mental Health

Taking a College Medical Leave

Mental Health Challenges in the LGBTQ+ Community

Mental Health Challenges in Immigrant Communities

My Relationship with Religion While Living with Mental Illness

Part VI

Rights and Advocacy

The Many Forms of Mental Illness Discrimination

Ways We Can Address the Social Determinants of Mental Health

Criminal Justice Involvement of People with Serious Mental Illness

Mental Health Law Considerations, New York Example

A Primer on Government Benefits


Firsthand knowledge and experience about consumers unmet needs amid the evolving treatment landscape. Providing insights from lived experience expertise to enhance patient treatment outcomes. Understanding patient perspectives when forecasting the impact of new treatment options. Appreciating how patients define recovery for themselves. I look forward to hearing from you.

Psych Ward Greeting Cards