Mental Health Speaker, Author, Trainer and Consumer Advocate


Carol A. Kivler, MS, CSP

  • Nationally recognized mental health speaker, author of 4 books, thought leader, international executive coach and corporate trainer.
  • Passionate consumer advocate for mental health and tireless stigma buster.
  • Survivor of four bouts of treatment-resistant depression, and with ECT and the Courageous Recovery Wellness Model, has been in sustained recovery and wellness for 18 years.
  • Founder and President of Courageous Recovery, Inc., a 501 (c) 3 non-profit mental health organization whose mission is to promote a mental wellness movement by advancing education, advocating nationally, and eliminating stigma surrounding mental illness.
  • Sought-after keynote and workshop speaker, addressing psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, counselors, medical/nursing students, human resource professionals, disability managers, absence and risk managers, employee assistance professionals as well as associations, corporations, organizations, school systems and government agencies.
  • Inspirational wellness presentations resonate with consumers, inspiring compassion, understanding and hope.
  • Authentic, riveting, and memorable motivational speaker. High-energy and compelling mental health presentations change thinking and encourage participants to move from mental illness to the realm of mental wellness.
  • Serves on several boards and committees addressing mental health issues and has received numerous awards for her work.
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Carol’s presentation was the best Grand Rounds we have had at the Cleveland Clinic this year.

Tatiana Falcone, M.D.
Cleveland Clinic


Your unfailing dedication to breaking down the barriers of stigma related to depression and ECT is exemplary. If only others would have the courage to follow in your footsteps, mental health treatment would no longer be hidden in the shadows. Carol, you are a true gift to humanity. I am personally blessed by your life journey and commitment to improving the quality of life for individuals with psychiatric disabilities and their family members as well as your devotion to bringing the real-world into the academic setting.

Specialty Director, Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
Yale University School of Nursing


Carol Kivler’s discussion of her journey is compelling, candid and provocative. Everyone in the audience left not just informed, but transformed.

Joy Jones
Director of Community Relations
Psychiatric Institute of Washington


Thank you, Carol, for having the courage to speak so openly at our Grand Rounds series about your journey of recovery. Your heartfelt testimonial of optimism and resilience is moving and inspirational, and is an invaluable message for professionals and lay people alike.

Jonathan Krejci, Ph.D.
Director of Training and Research
Princeton House Behavioral Health


Your Grand Rounds presentation, “The Other Side of Psychosis” was exceptionally well received by our department. Thank you once again for taking the time from your busy schedule to join us and share your expertise and advocacy.

Joseph Austerman, D.O.
Chair, Psychiatry Grand Rounds Committee
Cleveland Clinic


Both the interns and the more experienced residents were fascinated by Ms. Kivler’s talk, and wished for more. She provided living confirmation of many of the things the residents are taught-the effectiveness of ECT, the value of a long term trusting relationship with a psychiatrist, the importance of genuinely listening to the patient, and the impact of ordinary human kindness. The interns could have had no better introduction to the relationship with the patient.

Kimberly R. Best, MD
Albert Einstein Medical Center

– Carol was an amazing speaker and I really appreciated her telling her personal story. I will take so much from this session back to my workplace.

– This is a relevant topic. The speaker was dynamic and her real- life experiences along with ways a company can help employees made this an excellent presentation.

– Carol was an amazing speaker! The fact that she has experienced this first hand made it so much easier to following and believe that there is a light at the end of the black hole of depression.

– This topic has come up more and more recently. This speaker made this relevant topic accessible and memorable. I wish everyone could attend this session.

– This was a fantastic session! Carol speaking about her own mental health journey is inspiring. I feel energized to go back to work and make this a priority! Thank you!

– Carol was very knowledgeable. She was very authentic and open. Great presentation.

– Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story. Good ideas to take back and implement asap.

– She told her personal story truthfully. She showed deep knowledge of the topic.

– Carol‘s presentation was amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your story and this information, and reminding those of us with mental illness that we are not alone.

– Very personable and great stage presence. Really enjoyed this session. Will utilize her toolbox to bring awareness of this topic to work.

– This was great, really had me thinking and wanting to do more. Was in tears at some points!

–  Awesome in all her ways.

Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference & Exposition


Truly touching, informative, compelling and necessary for every employer to start the discussion about depression in their workplace.  As leaders in any organization we need to be aware how many people depression and mental illness touches.  It’s not about how much money and lost work time from employees – it’s about showing how much we care about our employee’s mental health.  Carol’s presentation has inspired me to break the stigma and talk about it.  It could save a life.

Elizabeth Danforth, SHRM–CP
Director of Human Resources
Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A.


Thank you for your significant contribution to the success of our program. The feedback we received was extremely positive. Most importantly, our guests came away with a call-to-action, many planning to share what they learned and experienced with key stakeholders in their organization. Stories are powerful. They provide context, kindle an emotional fire, and package facts in ways that people will remember and want to share (retell) to others. Thank you for sharing your story, your expertise and your passion for patient education and the power of patient voice in professional education.

Susan R. Grady, MSN, RN-BC
Director, Educational Strategy and Patient Engagement
MedScape Education


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