Kathleen M. Pike, PhD

Summer Reading 2023

Our Columbia-WHO Center for Global Mental Health faculty and senior staff had a celebration lunch this week for one of our senior staff members heading to graduate school in the fall. Summer is a great time to catch up on reading, and we had many recommendations for each other. I

Time for a Good Read

Over the past few weeks, I have received numerous reading list recommendations – for travel, history, food, sports, and so on. It has inspired me to create a year-end list of my own on mental health. Whether you prefer fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, or history, there is something here for everyone.

The Human Library

I love libraries. Growing up, I was a regular at our local library, and my college work-study job was in the library reserve room. This summer, I had the chance to visit one of the greatest libraries of all time: The Long Room at Trinity College Dublin. Built between 1712

What’s In A Year?

July 1 is the first day of the new academic year. I am in the middle of reading a book with the word “year” in it (#2 below), and with travel restrictions easing, I am already thinking about family travel plans for next year. With all these “years” in mind,

Summer Reads

With summer upon us, it is time for some good book recommendations. This year, I asked a few colleagues to share what they are reading. Wow. I want to read them all. Sci-Fi, biography, history, fiction, nonfiction. No matter the genre, these books offer the promise of taking us to

Billboard Mental Health

Roadtrip! I am writing from the backseat of a newfangled rental car because, as you may remember from an earlier post, our family car (who we affectionately call “AMY” after her license plate) is a 2002 Toyota Camry with almost 200,000 miles. She only drives local now.   On the way

Five Years of Five on Friday

I can hardly believe that I have been writing these weekly musings for five years. Our readership (you!) now numbers in the tens of thousands. In celebration of this milestone, we compiled all the past posts and created an online archive as part of a new website that will serve


“Stigma, Meet Hope.” This is how Katherine Ponte begins her story. Katherine knows a thing or two about stigma. She has lived with bipolar I disorder with psychosis for twenty years. In manic episodes, she thought she was a prophet, bought a house sight unseen, and engaged in all kinds

Risk Forward

We might have imagined that with the vaccine rollout out, this topsy turvy world would feel more settled, but that is not how life goes. The pandemic has been a storm of uncertainty. We have spent more than a year wondering, worrying, waiting, wanting. And it continues: Is it really

Difficult Conversations

The news headlines have been unrelenting sirens about the challenges of our time. Global pandemic. Variant strains. Vaccine distribution failures. Political mayhem. Unemployment and economic upheaval. Racial injustice. Social unrest. I am finding that these huge social stressors have crossed the blood-brain barrier so to speak and are now part

Roman Tritz

World War II bomber pilot Roman Tritz died earlier this year at the age of 97. He was the last known survivor of a U.S. government program that lobotomized combat veterans who suffered from treatment-resistant forms of mental illness, including profound depression, anxiety and psychosis. As we honor our veterans

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