Kathleen M. Pike, PhD

The Black Swan, Turkey, and Butcher

This week’s Five on Friday was slated to focus on something else altogether. But as I sit down to prepare today’s blog, Santa Fe High School is still an active crime scene, emergency medical care is underway in the hopes of saving lives, and ten students are already reported dead.

Crossing the Channel

Last week I wrote about our Global Mental Health delegation meetings in Scotland. As our mission continued across the English Channel to Berlin and Geneva, we had much to learn and share about mental health, which culminated in an afternoon at the World Health Organization. I think we have reached something of


Last night was the annual gala for the International Rescue Committee (IRC). It was a grand but bittersweet celebration. I was inspired by refugees who shared their stories of forging on and creating new lives with IRC support. I was also humbled by the enormity of the humanitarian crises around


Hollywood mega-mogul Harvey Weinstein made headlines this week. Not for another great film. No, this time we are watching a documentary in the making. Weinstein’s decades-long story of sexually exploitative and violent behavior against women is spewing from every media platform available. Weinstein conducted no auditions because he needed no

Las Vegas: 58/489

The massacre that occurred in Las Vegas on Sunday evening at the Route 91 Harvest Festival killed 58 people and injured 489 others. In and of itself, it is tragic. Placed in the larger context of violence in America, it is even more tragic. These instances trigger heated debates and

Let Me Hear Your Voice

This past Tuesday, while millions of citizens in Mexico were going about their daily routine, another earthquake struck. This one registered 7.1 on the Richter Scale, and as compared to the earthquake that struck the country just two weeks ago, Mexico City was hit hard this time. I was en

Solar Eclipse

August 21, 2017. Brief but breathtaking. The sun and moon aligned just so. A solar eclipse that extended across the continental United States. Millions along the path of 100% totality, millions more seeing the partial eclipse. As I watched from my balcony, it occurred to me that this celestial drama

Memory Making and Erasing

“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”  – Gabriel García Márquez Every day experiences accumulate to make up the memories that define who we are and what we call our lives. We live, we remember, we make meaning. Generally

Can you really die from a broken heart?

Last week brought the death of Star Wars Princess Leia. In real life, Carrie Fisher not only was a famous actress and writer but also a tireless mental health advocate, speaking out with uncommon candor and self-effacing humor about her lifelong struggles with bipolar disorder and addiction. The day after Fisher’s death, her mother, actress and singer Debbie

(No) Home for the Holidays

Last week, I picked up my daughter, Julia, after her last final. Yesterday, Ben arrived home. They have completed their first semesters at university. We are looking forward to potato latkes and champagne toasts with their older brothers and extended family, including their soon-to-be 1 year old cousin and octogenarian

Stories that Inspire

Newspaper headlines and breaking news on CNN are dominated by the drama of crisis and disaster. When we rely on this coverage to tell the story of mental illness, we are led to believe that the majority of people with mental disorders are violent, dangerous, and sleeping on church steps.

Spanking as a Cure for Mental Illness?

Last night, as I was having dinner with several dear friends and members of our Global Mental Health Program’s International Advisory Board, the conversation found its way to the topic of mental illness. It is true that we do not have ready cures for everyone who presents with a mental

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